A year and a half ago I published a list of 10 statements that can make you speak like an organisational expert. They all represent ‘facts’ as seen by management wisdom. I bring them back because in the era of post-truth and alt-facts, I think it is going to be even easier today to slip in one of these in a conversation (or talk) and obtain some instant nobility. Even if all of them have the intellectual strength of a cream cake. And that is a fact. The cake that is
I have re-edited them
- Top down stuff is bad and insufficient, but bottom up may be crazy, chaos. What about a more benign top down? OK, let’s have a bit of bottom up. Let’s do more workshops South or the equatorial line in the organizational chart. In this ‘management facts’ version, bottom up means more (top down) workshops at the bottom of the organization chart.
- Digitalise. Let’s just connect everybody with everybody. Yes we can. You can have videos as well. And an app. And hot desks. And working from home. Flexible! Work-life balance! Hurrah! And we can even write a book: ‘From P2P (peer to peer) to S2S (screen to screen)’
- Disrupt. Disrupt is good. Well, just a bit. Disruptive is anything that we have no done yet. Right?
- Let’s get rid of management, no titles, no supervisors. It’s cool. We’ll have other people in charge though, but won’t call them managers.
- Passion, passion. My kingdom for a bit of passion. If we are passionate, we will reinvent the enterprise. Just need to figure out a few hundred steps.
- ‘The marketing of rebellion’ (of course there is a book with this title, but not talking about this): rebels, mavericks, people who want change, disruptors, innovators. Give them a proper playground and something good will come up. (Yes, a magnificent waste of energy directed into low impact high noise activities, and a proliferation of useful idiots that conservative management can exhibit as sign of forward thinking. Ok, that was harsh, my colleague said then and say now. Sorry!)
- Get rid of command and control. Just stick to control. It’s shorter.
- It’s all networks, and actually there are so many pretty graphs. Not sure what to do, but the slides look great. (Seen a YouTube in which a management guru has revealed the death of the organization chart and the rise of networks which have two parts, the centre and the periphery. Serioulsy. And it looked as if he had been highly paid for that corporate speech. Sorry, for clarification, yes, this was a 2015, not even a 2000 YouTube)
- Process and systems are the problem. Reengineer (well, let’s call it something else, there is a little bit of baggage here). Inject anything with the word agile, even if you don’t know much about it, other than the word. Yes, there are agile experts, but they are so complicated!
- It’s the house. Dismantle the Lego. Do another one, a dragon this time, with less pieces. Re-structure? Many restructuring is done for the wrong reasons of expecting an architectural answer to what it is often a behavioural problem.
If physics and engineering worked with the same rigour as ‘management solutions’, bridges will fall down, electric grids will have daily blackouts and airplanes would never take off.
I said it those years ago, and I am happy to report that not much has changed since.