How the Crisis Will Change the Way We Manage Forever
The final barriers to remote work are melting because they have to in this crisis
The implications of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are and will be profound for individuals, organizations and society at large. One of the casualties few will shed a tear for will be the demise of what can only be described as old-school management practices.
In his fabulous video from a few years ago, “Reinventing the Technology of Human Accomplishment,” Dr. Gary Hamel raised the idea that perhaps we were at the end of management. While he projected optimism with management innovation likely to occur at the fringes, he cited examples of prior-era approaches to managing and leading still present in our world. In engagements over the past year, I’ve encountered a variety of these outdated management practices suggested by Dr. Hamel, including:
- Annual planning as a budgeting exercise—no real strategy
- Myopic, industry-only views to the world—no consideration for outside forces
- Rigid policies and biases against remote work—a supervision mentality
- Complex processes that slow product development—a cost orientation that assumes ideas are guilty until proven innocent
- Complex decision-making processes that hold groups hostage—control first at the expense of action thinking
- Lack of tangible workforce development—a view of education as cost and not potential benefit
- Organization structures that perpetuate siloed thinking and stifle collaboration
- Performance evaluation practices that must make Deming spin in his grave
- Lack of transparency on firm finances and direction—a “too much knowledge is a bad thing” mentality from the top
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