Reflections on how and why…we work and live.

Management 2.0

November 2nd, 2012 | Posted by admin in Management

Management 2.0 is Gary Hamel’s challenge to rethink an entrenched management philosophy that originated during a short but explosive expansion of the size and complexity of companies during a one-generation period around the start of the 20th century. His argument is that “what matters now” (the title of his recent book) will not be addressed by a management philosophy born in a radically different world than the one we live in now.

Hamel is a committed capitalist but feels a reinvention is overdue – even inevitable – based on five paramount issues: values, innovation, adaptability, passion, and ideology.

One of the most intriguing aspects of Hamel’s argument for Management 2.0 is that Management 1.0, if you will, has remained in place for so long mainly because the workplace has been generally stable and the rate of change in people’s environments has been pretty slow. The Internet has changed all of that but there’s no overarching management model to copy, only some few specific experiments to observe, and even those don’t follow a particular script beyond a willingness to try some radical approaches.

The implications are complex and confusing. Because this management revolution has no specific structure there’s no implementation map, no “experts” to help solve your specific problems. It’s not “lean”, although it can share some of the lean movement’s lessons on experimentation. It’s not “six sigma” or “Theory Y/Theory X” although each view can illuminate parts of a path.

The focus is shifted to the relationships within your organization, not ignoring tools but insisting that Management 2.0 is first and foremost about engaging hearts and minds.

My argument would be that we need to make our workplaces more democratic and more humane, first because it’s the right thing to do, and second because I think those types of organizations serve all of us better. The decision for most companies today is a philosophical one – Hamel claims that soon it will be an organizational survival question. Maybe, maybe not, but the fact that I’m not exactly certain how to go about this change isn’t going to stop me from trying.

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