I met Martin at #Lift11. I’m amplifying his post on his blog today, quoting Steve Denning’s comment entitled “The Decline of Management”
These posts, both Martin’s as Steve’s, are answers to the dialogue I tried to start under the title
“What might be the Ultimate Purpose of any business”
My answer as of today is:
Add real value to society & share the value retained in the business equitably, between all stakeholders.
I believe that putting the question like that can provide the kind of thinking that can lead to totally revert the way humans run their organizations, institutions, communities… decide on and conduct their polities and Human Endeavour on Earth generally …
Martin’s blogpost hence participates in the dialogue I was intended to make happen. Thank you so much Martin
Denning is right. There is a huge management crisis in the US as well as in the rest of the world building their management thinking on top down command-and-control thinking.
Rather than lamenting the fall of American dominance or putting up regulatory road blocks to prevent the sale of the NYSE, it would be better for business leaders to spend their time doing something about the root cause of the problem and rethinking how their organizations are being managed.
The serious part here is that the current crisis is just the beginning of a garguantuan breakdown of several levels of the current version of hierarchical management as an idea. The reason is that the whole concept of management is based on an idea of a management process which is theoretically or mechanically detached from the real work, but still somehow regard itself as being in charge of the value creating process. That is the illusion that we see is breaking up all over the place.
And when that is happening traditional managers will find their theories and several levels of abstraction to be just a impenetrable barrier to reality. To quote a speech by Ben Hammersley on Lift 11, which I participated in a couple of weeks ago:
They can’t understand that they can’t understand what they can’t understand.
Tomorrow’s leaders will be masters of being part of what is going on as well as proficient in leading by situated action.