Friday, June 13, 2008

Management's new role?

This questions was printed on HBR when I was born:

What are the big tasks waiting for management today that require both new theories and new practices?

Maybe the time is finally right for lasting answers. In May Gary Hamel and HBR invited 35 really smart folks to reinvent management for the 21st century.

They focused on the following key questions during their meeting:
  1. What are the deep-seated impediments, or “design flaws,” that limit the capacity of organizations to adapt (to change without trauma); to innovate (to mobilize the imagination of everyone, every day); and to engage (to create environments that inspire extraordinary contributions).
  2. Given these systemic impediments, and the new demands that will confront organizations in the years ahead, what should be the agenda for 21st century management innovators? That is, what are the “moonshot challenges” that must be addressed if we are to create organizations that are truly fit for the future?
  3. Can we imagine, even in outline form, some potential solutions to these challenges, and if so, what sorts of experiments might be useful in helping us to test these ideas in real world settings?
  4. More generally, what could be done to help accelerate the evolution of management in the years to come, that is, what is it that limits the pace of management innovation and how might these limits by overcome?
I am curios to hear the outcome of this discussion in his blog.

Similar topics have been discussed for quite a while. Peter F. Drucker wrote in Harvard Business Review, Nov-Dec 1969 about

Management's new role

"We will, therefore, increasingly have to learn to make existing organizations capable of rapid and continuing innovation. How far we are from this is shown by the fact that management still worries about resistance to change."

He outlined 5 new realities (for Reinventing Management for the 1970s...)
  1. All institutions, including business, are accountable for the quality of life
  2. Entrepreneutial innovation will become the very heart and core of management
  3. It is management's task to make knowledge more productive
  4. Management will have to been considered as both a "science" and a "humanity"
  5. Economic and social development are the result of management
This he said in a keynote speach "at the 15th CIOS International Management Congress in Tokyo, Japan, November 7, 1969".

I can not find the article online, but I can send a pdf copy to anyone who is interested - just send me an email.

The questions have been around, maybe the time is finally right for lasting answers?


Samuli said...

See the outcome of Hamel's group of smart folks.