Posts Categorized: Management

we don’t need no stinking hierarchies

When we think of management we usually think of control over others. Management decides. F.W. Taylor in the early 20th century saw management as the necessary controlling layer in order to systematize work and make it efficient and so developed his Principles of Scientific Management. If labourers could not adapt to managers’ directions, then they… Read more »

the random organization

“Post-industrial work is learning. Work is figuring out how to define and solve a particular problem and then scaling up the solution in a reflective and iterative way – with technology and alongside other people.” “The future of work has to be based on willing participation by all parties, and the ability of all parties… Read more »

leadership is enabling

I have often said that the essence of leadership or management in organizations is helping make your network smarter, more resilient, and able to make better decisions. It is not telling people what to do, or managing how they get things done, especially in an age where more work is unique and non-routine. Those doing the work are often the… Read more »

learning to create the future of work

I recently wrote that when we look at the future of work, the loss of current jobs, and the effects of automation we should use a compass to guide us, not a list of what the jobs of the future may look like. These kinds of maps get dated too quickly. In preparing for this… Read more »

trust emerges

Paul Zak discovered eight key factors, or principles,  in promoting trust in the workplace. In The Neuroscience of Trust he describes the research over several years that yielded these insights and gives examples of companies who implement these principles. The return on investment is more energy and greater productivity. “Ultimately, you cultivate trust by setting a… Read more »

distributing power for the network era

A certain amount of command and control, exercised through a hierarchy is often necessary to get work done. I suggest temporary, negotiated hierarchies so that teams can form and re-form depending on what needs to be done. Reorganization can be inherent in the enterprise structure and not a cataclysmic event that happens only when management… Read more »

“people are for caring”

Christian Madsbjerg concludes in his book, Sensemaking: “What are people for? Algorithms can do many things, but they will never actually give a damn. People are for caring.” How can we understand the complexity of human networks, especially when they are massaged by algorithms that drive our social media? Empathy can put us in other… Read more »

organizing for the network era

In my last post I noted that many organizations today are nothing more than attractive prisons. The current organizational tyranny was a response to a linear, print-based world. These organizations are artifacts of a time when information was scarce and hard to share, and when connections with others were difficult to make and required command… Read more »

implementing a triple operating system

A triple operating system aligns work and learning and has a network perspective. It is based on three interrelated processes, first proposed by Valdis Krebs: Awareness, Alternatives, Action. My perspective is that people in organizations cannot take appropriate action unless they have systems in place to consider alternatives, and are aware of the complex environments… Read more »