Gary Hamel Podcast: For Management Activists

CIPD has released an excellent Gary Hamel podcast.  Listen here, it is 30 minutes well spent.  Especially if you are, what he calls, a management activist.

Accountability leads to responsibility (rather than tighter and tighter rules); innovation starts with aspiration not perspiration; managment is no longer about control but enabling. Safe innovation (low cost. low risk) is the essence of future organisational development.  Why, because you need 100 wacky ideas, to find 10 things worth experimenting with, that will lead to one thing that will transform the organisation. Failure is at the heart of success.  Modern managers can and have to manage paradox at all levels.  They are capable of making the local trade-offs that ensure surivial , so why control them from the centre and make the (often wrong) trade-offs for them.

Companies still act as though their business model will last for ever, yet we know whole industries are demonstrating the opposite:  music industry, pharmaceuctical industry, newspapers and media etc. etc. Every single employee has to be able to ‘hack’ the management processes in their organisation. Like an open source project. Management practice gets in the way of how most people want to do their jobs.

Every company needs to break itself into smaller units, as small as 5 or 7 and then aggregate them together. Large companies over invest in what is, at the expense of what could be. There is often only one place to go to get funding for ideas.  Big companies must create large numbers of places where funding is available for experimentation.  So large companies will feel ‘small’ to their staff but have the economy of scale at the same time:  i.e. managing the paradox.

CIPD has a Shaping the Future project on the website  Well worth looking at. I really feel I am getting some value for my Fellowship of CIPD (at last).

Favourite quotation:

“Those companies who work out how to compete in the new environment, become more adaptable, and get innovation out of every single person every day, will be set up for a very successful future.”


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