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Monday, February 08, 2010

Management 2.0

One of my favourites books on Management is "The Future of Management" by Gary Hamel and Bill Breen. A few excerpts from the book are as follows:

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"Ask a group of your colleagues to describe the distinguishing characteristics of your company, and few are likely to mention adaptability and inventiveness. Yet if you ask them to make a list of the traits that differentiate human beings from other species, resilience and creativity will be near the top of the list. We see evidence of these qualities every day—in ourselves and in those around us. All of us know folks who’ve switched careers in search of new challenges or a more balanced life. We know people who’ve changed their consumption habits for the sake of the planet. We have friends and relatives who’ve undergone a spiritual transformation, or risen to the demands of parenthood, or overcome tragedy. Every day we meet people who write blogs, experiment with new recipes, mix up dance tunes, or customize their cars. As human beings, we are amazingly adaptable and creative, yet most of us work for companies that are not. In other words, we work for organizations that aren’t very human.
... The culprit? Management principles and processes that foster discipline, punctuality, economy, rationality, and order, yet place little value on artistry, nonconformity, originality, audacity, and élan. To put it simply, most companies are only fractionally human because they make room for only a fraction of the qualities and capabilities that make us human. Billions of people show up for work every day, but way too many of them are sleepwalking. The result: organizations that systematically underperform their potential.
.... The challenge: to reinvent our management systems so they inspire human beings to bring all of their capabilities to work every day."

"... Hierarchies are very good at aggregating effort, at coordinating the activities of many people with widely varying roles. But they’re not very good at mobilizing effort, at inspiring people to go above and beyond. When it comes to mobilizing human capability, communities outperform bureaucracies."

"... also hear virtually nothing that suggests the participants have hearts. Beauty. Truth. Love. Service. Wisdom. Justice. Freedom. Compassion. These are the moral imperatives that have aroused human beings to extraordinary accomplishment down through the ages. It is sad, then, that the vernacular of management has so little room for these virtues. Put simply, you are unlikely to get bighearted contributions from your employees unless they feel they are working toward some goal that encompasses bighearted ideals."

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