For the past 4 years, Bill Anderson, CEO of Roche Pharmaceutical has been leading a crusade to “smash” bureaucracy. In this blunt and provocative conversation, Bill talks with Gary about what it takes to vanquish bureaucracy.
Why is management research so poorly funded? Would anyone notice if b-school researchers took a 10-year holiday? These are the questions Gary Hamel addresses in his wide-ranging and provocative take on the state of management research.
Management was invented by engineers and accountants, and it shows. Too many organizations view human beings as mere “resources”. Until this changes our organizations will be less energetic, less creative and less resilient than the people within them.
For a hundred years bureaucrats have tried to turn human beings into semi-programmable robots. Now that we have real robots, we need to let human beings do what they do best: dream, imagine and create.
At its core, virtually every large organization is a bureaucracy. That’s a problem, because bureaucracies are poorly suited to a world of head-snapping change, unconventional competitors and omnipotent customers. Few of us, though, can imagine an alternative to bureaucracy, but we must try.
Whilst Silicon Valley is great for the US economy, its impact on productivity and growth is modest. What’s needed is not an entrepreneurial enclave, but an economy filled with organizations that have unleashed the entrepreneurial energy of all those at work.
In our personal lives, we are masters of paradox, but at work we are often not trusted to balance competing objectives. This must change. We need organizations where freedom and control coexist and where employees have the information and skills to dynamically manage competing priorities.
By the time a problem is big enough to capture the CEO’s scarce attention, an organization is already on the back foot. We need organizations where change is everyone’s job, not just the responsibility of those at the top, whose emotional equity is often invested in the past.
We all understand that innovation is the only insurance against irrelevance, the only way to outperform a mature industry, the only protection you have from commoditization and the only way to ensure long-term customer loyalty.
If an organization is going to thrive in the Digital Age, its management model must be rebuilt from the ground up around the principles of the social Web. Here's a blueprint for accelerating this vital and long over-due transformation.