Reference: Reinventing Management

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Feb. 26 2011 – 12:42 pm By STEVE DENNING

My article, The Reinvention of Management” has just been published in a special issue of Strategy & Leadership on “outracing change: learning to foresee, adapt, re-invent and innovate faster.” (Strategy & Leadership, 2011, Vol. 39 Issue: #2, pp.9 – 17)

The article explains why business leaders and writers are increasingly exploring a fundamental rethinking of the basic tenets of management. It synthesizes a number of books including Umair Haque’s  The New Capitalist Manifesto, The Power of Pull by John Hagel, John Seely Brown and Lang Davison and my own book, The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management. The article shows how management is being reinvented with five fundamental shifts:

  • the firm’s goal (a shift from inside-out to outside-in);
  • the role of managers (a shift from controller to enabler);
  • the mode of coordination (from command and control to dynamic linking);
  • the values practiced (a shift from value to values); and
  • the communications (a shift from command to conversation).

The raison d’être of the firm changes from a focus on reducing transaction costs to scalable collaboration, learning and innovation. The shifts are interdependent: if only some shifts are made, the firm will slide back into hierarchical bureaucracy.

By adopting a people-centered goal, a people-centered role for managers, a people-centered coordination mechanism, people-centered values and people-centered communication the leaders of a firm can focus on the people who are its customers.

The article is available here.