Different types of organizations shape the way their employees think about opportunities. What kind of organization do you work in?
In the first of a regular series of articles taking a sideways look at the practical aspects of modern management, Dr Leandro Herrero discusses the trade-off between tyrannical hierarchies and the benign dictatorship of ’teamocracies’.
If knowledge is the corporate asset, then return on knowledge should be a primary indicator, companies should be measured in terms of ’corporate IQ’, and management should be accountable for both.
Modern management rewards reductionism and avoids complexity but, in this era of super-specialisation, the ability to reconstruct the whole business picture has become an invaluable asset, argues Dr Leandro Herrero.
Time itself is running the risk of becoming a spent asset like knowledge. Herrero warns knowledge workers against the dangers of becoming aweek, 24-hour on-call, on-line, real-time global manager.
The same management names crop up again and again. But, as Dr Leandro Herrero argues, there is no single model for how to run a business because there is no best way to be organized.
Leandro Herrero calls on managers to relinquish their reliance on static organization charts, job escriptions and annual targets and instead embrace ambiguity and learn about informal networks – using buttons and bows.
It’s time to go ‘soft’ and answer the fundamental question – ‘What is knowledge?’ – before concentrating on how to manage it with the ever-increasing selection of fancy solutions on offer from consultants.
Never try to teach a pig to sing, as the saying goes – it wastes your time and annoys the pig. Yet organizations try to do this all the time when they ignore employees’ individual temperaments, and mental programming.
Companies should define themselves by what they know, not what they do, if they want to succeed in “the-ribbon-is-free” economy.
Futurology has never been a particularly exact science – which is why the best practitioners tend to stick to what they can see taking shape in the present. Or, as Dr Leandro Herrero puts it, the future is happening more in some companies than in others.
As business becomes increasingly global and interconnected, different skills are needed to keep pace. Dr Herrero outlines the kind of people and abilities that he believes companies will need to succeed in the world of the 21st Century.