In the organization, ‘people mobilization’ is the name of the game It is the working title of one of my next books. Probably it will never be published with this title.
I have repeated ad nauseam in these pages that traditional management models of ‘employee engagement’, for example, are useless in the 2015 enterprise. Also, to the point of reaching parrot-like status, that management has little (little else) to learn from ‘Management’ and lots to discover from non-business set up and organizations which mobilize people, energize, motivate and glue individuals and groups towards common goals. Read here social movements and ‘some’ political campaigns.
I am not a shy person. But I hesitate to label all this ‘The End of Management’ because it will trigger antibodies of the type ‘a new fad’, ‘a new buzzword’, etc Actually there was a ‘The End of Management’ article in the Wall Street Journal in 2010, by Alan Murray, which sparked lots of attention. But most of the apocalyptic ‘End-Of’ ends up as a good title or good line, perhaps good concept, but not necessarily a solid proposition. The great exceptions of course were Hegel and Marx ‘End of History’, skillfully twisted by Francis Fukuyama in his 1992 ‘The End of History and the Last Man’. Fukuyama’s End of History meant the triumph of the single model Western-Liberal- Capitalist-Democratic as ‘endpoint of sociocultural evolution’. That gave Fukuyama and endless world tour in TV studios, leading to The End of Fukuyama in TV Studios.
My More Modest End of Management, I repeat, is based upon a simple assumption and observation: Traditional Management Theory is tired, exhausted, geriatric, and super-retired. All attempts to substitute it with more modern approaches are attempts ‘within the system’. Nothing wrong with that, but not Kuhn’s paradigm shifts here. We need to look outside the system for inspiration, let alone for a paradigm shift.
I have expressed my preference many times, as a good professional Parrot: look at modern political campaigns a la Obama.
The Obama political campaign did not create a political campaign only. It created a social movement, a platform, a grass roots organization, a permanent state of readiness and people mobilization. Ignore your political allegiances here. There it was first ‘Organizing for America’ then its follow up ‘Organizing for Action’ and now, well, the announcement that that social movement/platform/engine of mobilization has been ‘built to last’ and will stay beyond Barak Obama leaving office. (Messina: Obama’s OFA ‘built to last,’ will not close after Obama leaves office. January 2015). You bet.
The concept of organization and ‘organization culture’ as platform is not entirely new, but it is worth developing further. More to come
The focus of the New Management is the mobilization of people as that ‘social movement/platform/engine’ that I have mentioned. I’ve called it Viral Change Inside. And other things.
OK, it’s the end of Management, but not the end of managing. The end of That Management.
But God knows we need people mobilizations skills more than ever. Come on, let’s go. This is were the fun starts. It’s not Harvard, it’s more Chicago style community organizers.
PS. Prediction: Organizational Consultants will come from political/social movements, not HR.