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The Future of Innovation Management; Hamel and Bryan Speak

innovation-model.jpgGary Hamel and Lowell Bryan offer similar perspectives on the future role of management in their respective books, "The Future of Management" and "Mobilizing Minds" (co-authored by Claudia Joyce). Each calls for organizational change so managers an direct employees with the same innovative energy that is devoted to product development -- minimizing complexity and harnessing every worker's talents. The McKinsey Quarterly picked the two authors' brains to gauge what the innovative management of the future actually looks like. Since you most likely don't have the time to read through a lengthy interview, here's a quick summary:

The challenges:

  • Management was designed to perfect replicability, at ever-increasing scale and steadily increasing efficiency. The new set of challenges requires managers to "mobilize and monetize the imagination of every employee, every day."
  • Organizational barriers prevent the adoption of good innovations throughout the company and make it difficult to take advantage of the opportunities created by digitalization and globalization.
  • Most CEOs don't understand how technology will change the work of management.
What's to come:
  • Three reasons technology of management may change dramatically over the first three decades of this century:
  1. The impact of new technology
  2. Increasing need for companies to provide adaptable, innovative, and exciting workplaces
  3. Change is a revolution in expectations
  • Organizational models need to change to accommodate thinking-intensive work by self-directed people. Hierarchal decision-making must be reserved for activities that require authority. Model adaptation should create mechanisms to enable collaboration with peers so that the organization works horizontally, as well as vertically.
  • The work of management will be pushed out to the periphery; it will be embedded in systems. We're on the verge of a "postmanagerial society."
What management innovation looks like:
  • It may "be bringing talent or knowledge marketplaces inside a company or building formal networks or introducing dynamic management principles to a company." These ideas need to be integrated.
  • Change isn't driven by crisis; it's intrinsic to the way an organization operates.
How can organizations transform:
  • Stage-gate initiatives to manage risk. "...if you take the principles of private equity, venture capital, and R&D and bring them inside the company to stage-gate your investments in organizational innovation, you can first learn what works and then scale it, without taking excessive risk."
  • Organizations need to take on strategic initiatives and organizational initiatives simultaneously.
  • Employees must be able to collaborate with one another at a lower cost by reducing unproductive search and coordination costs. This means deploying "such devices as talent marketplaces, knowledge marketplaces, and formal networks to make intangible assets flow throughout the company, as opposed to going up and down vertical chains of command."
For more insight from Gary Hamel, visit his discussion page at Harvard Business.

(Innovation Model image courtesy of Alex Osterwalder, cc 2.0)

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