Magazine article New Zealand Management

NZIM : Inventing Management's Future -- Identifying the Challenges; the World of Business Has Changed and Management Hasn't Kept Up -- in Fact Its Evolution Has "Slowed to a Crawl". Why Is "Management 101" Past Its Use-By Date? What Might "Management 201" Look Like?

Magazine article New Zealand Management

NZIM : Inventing Management's Future -- Identifying the Challenges; the World of Business Has Changed and Management Hasn't Kept Up -- in Fact Its Evolution Has "Slowed to a Crawl". Why Is "Management 101" Past Its Use-By Date? What Might "Management 201" Look Like?

Article excerpt

Byline: Kevin Gaunt

Gary Hamel, who is the professor of strategic management at the London Business School and a leading world authority on "management", recently visited New Zealand. Earlier this year he organised a conference in California in partnership with Management Lab (whose founding partners are McKinsey & Co, the London Business School, and the Union Bank of Switzerland).

The theme of the conference was "Inventing the Future of Management" and 35 prominent academics, CEOs, and consultants were invited to participate with the aim of identifying the big challenges for management in the future.

In his introduction to the conference, Hamel explained that management is one of humanity's essential technologies but that its evolution has now slowed to a crawl. New dynamics of competition and technological change have made "management-as-usual" untenable and his belief is that we are caught in a paradigm trap of 'Management 1.0'. That is, managers are focused on:

o Standardisation

o Specialisation

o Hierarchical planning and control

o Extrinsic rewards

o Shareholder value.

He said that in their time these were highly productive targets but are now increasingly obstructive barriers to progress. He raised the alternative concept of a 'Management 2.0' with the prospect of achieving a much-needed step-change in modern management practice.

To start the process, those attending were given four questions to consider:

1. What are the design flaws that prevent an organisation from changing until it can only be done by a coup and from inspiring the joyful imagination and commitment of their employees?

2. What are the grand challenges that need to be addressed if we are to create organisations as adaptable as their environments and as human as the people who work in them?

3. What might answers to these challenges look like, and are there experiments that would help push through the limits of "management-as-usualo?

4. What can be done to speed up the evolution of management in the future?

The conference discussions were far ranging and produced a number of general insights and themes which start to set a long-term agenda for development and innovation in future management practice.

The first important insight was that in today's world, attracting and fully engaging people is a critical requirement of organisations as they need more than ever to tap into the creativity and innovative potential of the human brain. This means managers need to deliver a purpose for the organisation beyond just shareholder value to capture the imagination of people in the organisation. Also the values that support the bigger purpose need to be defined and role modelled by the leaders of the organisation so that people feel it is truly worthwhile being involved. There is also a need for deliberate consistency and coherence to be in place so that from the human point of view the organisation doesn't become too frenetic and disjointed as it takes the necessary step-change forward.

A second significant insight is that it is now a critical role of leadership to reject standard models and legitimise dissent and experimentation. …

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