daily dispatches from the management vanguard
Announcing the Winners of the Management 2.0 Challenge
We know that if we want to close the gap between the status quo and our big dream of creating companies that are fundamentally fit for the future (and fit for human beings), we need to enlist the ideas and energies of the most progressive thinkers and radical doers from every realm of endeavor.
We're thrilled to report that they showed up by the hundreds for the first leg of the HBR/McKinsey M-Prize for Management Innovation, the Management 2.0 Challenge. In just two months, we received 140 boldly original hacks and inspiring and instructive stories--and hundreds more thoughtful builds, comments, and questions. We selected 20 truly stellar finalists, who spent the last few weeks pouring serious effort into further developing their entries. We thank each and every one of you for your valuable contribution and hard work.
There is so much to learn, borrow, and build upon in these winning entries when it comes to how we can use the principles, and tools of the Web to make our organizations more adaptable, innovative, inspiring, and accountable. I'll be unpacking some of those takeaways in next week's blog, but probably the most important and universal lesson is the default assumption that everyone has a vital contribution to make--and that the ideas they produce, the energy and initiative they bring to the table, and the passion they share have nothing to do with the position they occupy. That may seem obvious in the age of the crowd, but it's far from operational. What these stories and hacks offer are well-developed, highly-detailed, and battle-tested roadmaps for making that assumption a reality.
But don't take it from me. Meet the winners and dive into their entries:
The Deliberative Corporation
Hack by James Fishkin and Bobby Fishkin
James and Bobby Fishkin share their original approach to sustainable decision-making. What if any organization could engage the collective intelligence of employee, customer, or other stakeholder populations to find out "what people would think if they were thinking"? The "deliberative polling" approach, which combines deep, in-person discussions with broad-based online contribution, offers a compelling alternative to top-down direction-setting, resolves conflict and eliminates the need for "buy-in."
The Colleague Letter of Understanding: Replacing Jobs with Commitments
Story by Paul Green
Morning Star is one of the world's leading processors of tomatoes--and one of the most progressive models of a self-managed enterprise. At the heart of this peer-regulated collection of colleagues who determine their own roles and responsibilities is the "Colleague Letter of Understanding" or CLOU. Four years ago, the company introduced a custom social network to support a more dynamic, transparent, and scalable approach to self-management. Today, an ever-evolving (and immediately visible) network serves as "org chart" and peer-to-peer responsiveness replaces hierarchical control.
Nobody's as Smart as Everybody--Unleashing Individual Brilliance and Aligning Collective Genius
Story by Jim Lavoie
Software company Rite-Solutions has developed a state-of-the-art "innovation engine" to unearth the organization's hidden genius. Think Bloomberg terminal meets Monopoly board: a dynamic marketplace for idea generation and development in which all employees are entrusted with the future direction of the company, asked for their opinions, listened to, and rewarded for successful ideas. The result: an organization in which ideas and people flourish--and new products, technologies, and directions are freely generated. New lines of business created via the innovation engine account for 20% of the company's total revenue.
Entangled Talents: a 21st-century Social Learning System
Story by Frederic Leconte
Leading manufacturer of eyeglass lenses, Essilor, transforms cursory, standardized training into a dynamic, collaborative, peer-driven, Web-enabled platform for sharing knowledge and experience. The LOFT (Learning Organization for Tomorrow) program is a collection of initiatives and tools designed to promote locally-grown insights and practices and to turn shop floor workers into peer coaches (some 810 volunteers at 102 sites in 40 countries). The result: new ideas and transformative practices speed around the world horizontally (rather than top-down) and formerly disengaged employees are energized by the opportunity to contribute and learn from their peers.
Shift Changes the Way Cemex Works
Story by Gilberto Garcia, Miguel Angel Lozano Martinez, and Arturo San Vicente
Global building materials company Cemex embraces the "Collaboration Revolution" with a multi-pronged effort to shift behaviors toward more openness, transparency, meritocracy, and community. To accelerate that transformation, the company launched a social platform (called "Shift") to harvest ideas and inject agility into crucial projects. In just eighteen months, Shift has involved some 20,500 people, generated more than 500 self-organizing communities of interest (on topics from sustainability to health and safety), sparked the rapid-fire launch of new products (including a global brand of ready-mix products), and engaged hundreds of employees around the world in defining strategic priorities for the next century.
Civil Servants Cut through the Red Tape and Share Government Forward
Story by Kim Spinder
Dutch Ministry employee Kim Spinder devised a seemingly simple hack of work with a potentially radical impact: civil servants across the Netherlands are invited to share their workspaces, expertise, and resources via a Web booking system and a set of social tools (www.deelstoel.nl). Deelstoel ("share chair" in Dutch) doesn't just aim to share space but to align civil servants with each other and with the communities they serve. The initiative promotes both flexibility and "presence" where it counts, and generates spontaneous connection and collaboration among co-workers and constituents who were previously invisible to each other.
My Customer: One Voice is Noise, Many is a Chorus--Voice of the Customer through the Employee
Story by Steve Wallin
Best Buy's 100,000 retail employees engage in more than a billion customer interactions every year--but, until recently, the feedback from those experiences amounted to a random trickle of anecdotes. To close the loop between what employees hear and learn daily on the floor and what management decides from above, Best Buy built a dedicated channel--an easy-to-use web-based widget--that invites real-time reporting of insights and issues--and provides dramatic visibility into larger opportunities and brewing problems. Retail workers feel valued and trusted--and submit observations at a rate of 6,000 a week.
Congratulations! Winners will not only receive significant recognition on the MIX, Harvard Business Review online, and the McKinseyQuarterly.com, they earn a chance to appear at a MIX event and awards ceremony in 2012. Even more important, they earn a place in the pantheon of management innovators: individuals with the imagination and daring to take on the status quo--and the generosity to share what they learned in the process.
We and our partners at HBR and McKinsey would like to thank all of the entrants to the Management 2.0 Challenge, everyone who commented on and rated the entries, and our fantastic judges: Tim O'Reilly, Clay Shirky, Lynda Gratton, Umair Haque, Eric Hellweg, James Manyika, Mark McDonald, and our own Gary Hamel.
We hope you all will to continue to spread the management revolution, here on the MIX and in your own organizations (if you experiment with any of the ideas you find here, we'd love to hear about it!). Watch this space for more features on the winning entries and the launch of the next leg of the HBR/McKinsey M-Prize for Management Innovation in the next few weeks.