The Web As A Management Model

by Jay Deragon on 06/15/2012

The definitions and models of management must change or organizations cannot adapt to the demands of the marketplace. Given the pace of change unless adaptation is a priority then extinction comes at the click of a mouse.

In Gary Hamel’s new book: What Matters Now: How to Win in a World of Relentless Change, Ferocious Competition, and Unstoppable Innovation he writes: The Internet is the most adaptable thing human beings have ever created. From Google to Craigslist to Twitter, and from YouTube to Flickr to Facebook, the Web has morphed in ways that few of us would have imagined a decade ago. It has also spawned a host of amazing new social technologies, including crowdsourcing, folksonomies, opinion markets, wikis, mash-ups, and microblogging. Unlike our management systems, which are based on a top-down model of control, the Web is all periphery and very little center—its architecture is end-to-end, not center-to-end.

The distinction between the technology of management and the technology of the Internet is more than merely architectural, though. At the heart of the Web lies a bundle of social values that stand in stark contrast to the values that predominate in the average company. Community, transparency, freedom, meritocracy, openness, and collaboration—these comprise the fundamental ethos of the Web. Within the precincts of corporate-dom, the values of control, discipline, accountability, reliability, and predictability reign supreme. Twenty-first-century organizations must integrate these counterposed values to survive.

Before You Can Change You Must Recognize The Problem

Most businesses have yet to recognize that there is a wave of change swelling on the horizon. Caught up in solving everyday problems using old management models most are merely spinning their wheels going no where. Deceived by short term measures and motivated by self preservation they are lost in the moment and ignore the need to build for the future.

The future of any organization is only as good as those who know how to prepare for it.  Not preparing for it means when the future arrives you may not be there to enjoy it. Preparing for the future requires a change of heart and a change of mind.  There are three reason why management refuses to change their heart and mind. These are:

  1. Ignorance
  2. Indifference
  3. Impotence

I will address these three attributes which define today’s management thinking and behavior in the near future. For now if you want to argue the point look up the definitions of each word and think whether you can muster an argument against these claims. Think hard.

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