The new paradigm for managing
Organizations increasingly find their workers disengaged. This is includes professional organizations as well. I'm involved with one that finds it hard to get participation and buy-in into projects--the most current being an update of the strategic plan. Personally, I find strategic plans stodgy and increasingly ineffective; we move too fast to rely on them. But what has happened with this organization is that they have pulled together the usual suspects--all past presidents and people who put the original plan together--to update it. I'm torn between deferring and insisting that some new blood take up the work and getting together with folks I like and churning out the work. Alan Murray touches on some of this in his column from the Wall Street Journal.
The End of Management
The End of Management
In addition to resource allocation, there's the even bigger challenge of creating structures that motivate and inspire workers. There's plenty of evidence that most workers in today's complex organizations are simply not engaged in their work. Many are like Jim Halpert from "The Office," who in season one of the popular TV show declared: "This is just a job.…If this were my career, I'd have to throw myself in front of a train."
The new model will have to instill in workers the kind of drive and creativity and innovative spirit more commonly found among entrepreneurs. It will have to push power and decision-making down the organization as much as possible, rather than leave it concentrated at the top. Traditional bureaucratic structures will have to be replaced with something more like ad-hoc teams of peers, who come together to tackle individual projects, and then disband. SAS Institute Inc., the privately held software company in North Carolina that invests heavily in both research and development and in generous employee benefits, ranging from free on-site health care and elder care support to massages, is often cited as one company that could be paving the way. The company has nurtured a reputation as both a source of innovative products and a great place to work.