As a young CEO of an Internet company, it seems there are many flaws in how the word ‘management’ is perceived by most people. Older people seem to think management is about organization and order, about tasks that must be defined and executed accurately, about wrong perception of hierarchy and that long detailed planning will help with improving quality.
When the world is changing so fast, how can you plan? How can you order your troops if the terrain is changing and you don’t know who you are fighting? The world is changing so fast, you can only build organizations that work so fast, that there is no chance anyone in the organization can even KNOW what everybody is doing since its changing so fast.
I think anyone in managerial positions should read the following post by Garry Hemel.
The only way to understand what management is about, is to let go of any type of perception you currently have about management. It is not about anything you think it is about. It is solely about the ability to guide the right people in the right direction. Anything else is simply too rigid and will eventually break in a dynamic environment.
We’ve been working with Don Sull, Professor at LBS, about his work on simple rules for managing strategy, and have implemented it in several processes around the organization. The most interesting thing is it’s constantly evolving.
So, I have laid an example of simple rules for general management, which I believe can be adopted by any organization that needs to move fast.
Simple Rules for management 2.0
- Management 2.0 is about guidance, not tasks.
- Management 2.0 is about innovation, therefore you must leave a reasonable margin for error.
- Management 2.0 is simple, therefore anyone can be a manager regardless of hierarchy.
- Management 2.0 is open, since everyone can be manager, everyone should have access to all managerial information.
- Management 2.0 is dynamic, any definition can change , simple rules should replace policies and procedures.
- Objectives are built for teams, there can’t be an MBO that is not shared by a team.
- Objectives are built for measurement, therefore they must be numbers.
- Objectives are built for guidance: projects must be defined as simple rules .
- Objectives are dynamic, they can be changed every quarter.
- Objective are openly communicated to everyone .
The big challenge is to recruit people who can adapt to management 2.0. Anyone with significant work experience has misconceptions about management. Letting go of these misconceptions is the biggest challenge.
I am adopting management 2.0 as I defined it, without even understanding if its correct. That’s part of management 2.0 (by the time people will “understand” it’s correct, I will be adapting to management 3.0 :).