Corporate ideology must change

Corporate leaders have so much to loose. This is why they are so reluctant to tear down those walls of bureaucracy.

No conventional management model will tackle the challenge

No skunk works, co-creation, just-in-time, incubation, total quality management, high performance teams, intrapreneurship, design thinking, re-engineering, learning organisation, knowledge management, or customer centricity will tackle unprecedented challenges such as the emergence of technology or pace of change.

No conventional organisation will tackle the challenge

Executives are not necessarily champions of bureaucracy, but most reside pleasantly on top of ‘their’ hierarchy. For some time we have fine tuned operational models, we have flattened hierarchies, we have simplified processes.

We have applauded empowerment, but not distributed executive authority. We have invested heavily in innovation, but based on the same hierarchical patterns.. We have evangelised the need for change, but our associates lack understanding of how to do it.

Unprecedented challenges requires more than a future-fit management fix

Yes, we need control, discipline, focus, accountability – but if a company is going to out-run the future, associates and team members need the freedom with responsibility.

As Gary Hamel puts it: We need a cluster of radically new management principles and processes that will help us take advantage of scale without becoming sclerotic, that will maximize efficiency without suffocating innovation, that will boost discipline without extinguishing freedom. We can cure the core incompetencies of the corporation—but only with a bold and concerted effort to pull bureaucracy up by its roots.