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Open Management Final_9.21

Open Management Final_9.21

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Published by Ted Shelton
The Future of Management, The Wealth of Networks, Here comes Everybody, and What Would Google Do all inspire this look at how companies will radically change their organization, leadership, decision making processes
The Future of Management, The Wealth of Networks, Here comes Everybody, and What Would Google Do all inspire this look at how companies will radically change their organization, leadership, decision making processes

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Published by: Ted Shelton on Sep 26, 2009
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05/02/2012

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OpenManagementPage|1
OpenManagement:TheconceptofOpenManagementandexplorationofthenewimperativesfororganizationsandtheirleaders
September21,2009
HaydnShaughnessy,Partner,haydn@theconversationgroup.comTedShelton,Partner,ted@theconversationgroup.com
 
OpenManagementPage|2
 Abstract
Overtimecertaintheoriesofmanagementhavehadaprofoundimpactonthewayenterprisesareperceived,organizedandmanaged.Taylor’sScientificManagementandPorter’sCompetitiveAdvantageareclassicexamples.Butmuchoftheintellectualworkofdevelopingorganizationalstructuresandmanagementtechniqueshasaddressedonlyonespecificsetofchallengesposedbytheindustrialrevolution,efficientlyscalinganorganizationofsemi‐skilledlaborersengagedinrepetitivetasks.Whileefficiencyinthemanagementoflaborremainsimportanttoday,overthepastfewdecadesanewsetofimperativeshavebeenforcingtheirwayontothemanagementagenda.Anincreasingamountoftheproductivecapacityofoureconomiesisnowdedicatedtotasksthatengagetheintelligenceofourworkers‐‐notjusttheirbodies.Furthermore,invirtuallyeveryindustrytheroleofinnovationhasprofoundlychangedthecompetitivelandscape.Webelievethesetwochallengescallforacceleratedchangeinthegovernancemodelfororganizationsofeverysizeandtype.Theideaofopenmanagementencapsulatesbetterthananythingelsewhatthatchangeshouldbe.Inthispaperweexaminetheunderlyingshiftsinoureconomyandexplorepracticalillustrationsofhowspecificorganizationsaregrapplingwiththischange.Inparticularwelookathowtechnologyischangingboththenatureofourworkandsocialdynamicsinourworkplacesandasaresultisalteringthemannerinwhichwemustorganize,manage,andrewardemployees.Wealsoseektounderstandhowtheseshiftsarealsobreakingdownwallsbetween“employees”and“customers”andcreateentirelynewmodelsofactivityacrossallofourbusinessprocesses.Ourconsistentthesisisthatamoreparticipatoryandmoreengagedleadershipstyleisneededforpost‐industrialorganizationsinwhichthenatureofworkhasforevershiftedawayfromrepetitionanddrudgery.Inthisnewmodelwherecreativityandcollaborationareneededfromeveryemployee,companiesmusttransformtheirpolicies,philosophies,andorganizationalmodelstosucceed.Thatisultimatelytheobjectiveofwhatwecallopenmanagement.
 
OpenManagementPage|3
Introduction
ItwouldberelativelyeasytoassumethatthechallengesyourbusinessisfacinghavenothingincommonwiththosefacingGoogle.Afterall,Googlehasgrownfasterintermsofemployeesandinitsgeographicscaleofoperationsthananyotherorganizationinhistory.AndthebusinessisentirelydrivenbythelogicoftheInternet,withitsendproductwhollydigital,itscustomersconnectingelectronicallyfromeverypartoftheworld,anditsemployeesmostlyhighlyskilledandwelleducated.Andcertainlythecharacteristicsoftheweb(onwhichGoogle’sorganizationalstructureisbased)–itsspeed,transparency,andinclusiveness–doseemtobeatoddswiththetraditionalcharacteristicsoforganizations;deliberative,structuredandoftensecretive.Butperhapsitisthosecharacteristicsthatareholdingorganizationsbackfromachievingthegrowthandprofitabilityofwhichtheycouldbecapable.IfthereissomethingtolearnfromGoogleandotherbusinessesthatareadoptingsimilarmethods,thestartingpointistounderstandthewaysinwhichourbusinessesaresimilartoGoogleandthusarefacingthesameproblems.Thetwoideasthatwewillexamineare(1)theshiftfrommanualtointellectualworkand(2)theinnovationimperative.
Brainsvs.Brawn
Throughouthistory,individualintelligenceandcollectivelaborhavebeenthedefiningelementsofourorganizationsandsocieties.Economicsystems,politicalstructures,andindividualorganizationshaveallgrappledwiththechallengeofprovidingasingleindividualorasmallgroupofindividualswiththepowertomakedecisionsandtransmittheauthorityofthosedecisionstoavastnumberofotherswhowouldthencarrythemoutthroughtheirphysicalactivities.Ascivilizationshavegrownmorecomplexandmorepopulouswehaverequiredincreasinglymoresophisticatedstructuresandprocessestoallowthismodeloftopdowndecisionmakingtoscaleacrossever‐largerorganizations.Inthesecondhalfofthetwentiethcenturytwotechnologicaltrendsbegantotransformthenatureofwork.Thefirstwastheincreasingpaceofdevelopmentofinformationsystemsthattransformedawidearrayoforganizationalfunctions,introducinganewclassofworkerintoorganizations.Sometimescalled“knowledgeworkers”theseemployeeswereengagedinthecreation,manipulation,anddisseminationofinformationthroughthesenewsystems,necessarilyincreasingtheintangible“intellectual”contentofproductsandservices.

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