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Meet the Management 2.0 Challenge Finalists

We’re delighted to announce the semifinalists for the Management 2.0 Challenge. In this first leg of the HBR/McKinsey M-Prize for Management Innovation, we asked the most progressive thinkers and radical doers from every realm of endeavor to share a Story (a real-world case study of a single practice, an initiative, or a broad-based transformation) or a Hack (a disruptive idea, radical fix, or experimental design) that illustrates how the principles and tools of the Web can help to overcome the limits of conventional management and help to create Management 2.0.

We started out with the belief that, for the first time in a century, we have a viable alternative to the management status quo. Thanks to the Web, we can imagine organizations that are large but not bureaucratic, that are focused but not myopic, that are specialized but not balkanized, that are efficient but not inflexible and, best of all, that are disciplined but not disempowering.

That vision came vividly to life in the more than 140 boldly original hacks and inspiring and instructive stories that poured in over the transom in just two months time. Together, they begin to puzzle together the open source code for Management 2.0.

Not surprisingly, the judges had a tough time selecting just 20 entries to move on to the final round. They made their decisions based on depth (did the entry tackle a deeply embedded pathology—a truly big problem?), boldness (was the solution a genuinely original antidote to conventional thinking and practice?), humanity (did the proposal paint a before and after picture in real, human terms?), and clarity (was it focused, specific, detailed?). Just as important, we looked for contributions with real potential to improve and offer up even more relevant insights and wide-spread impact during the finalist stage.

Now, just because an entry wasn’t selected doesn’t mean it’s not a worthy and important contribution to the shared goal of making all organizations more resilient, innovative, inspiring and accountable. We hope you’ll continue to explore and build upon all of these ideas and approaches. (You can read them all here.)

Before I list the finalists, I’ll share a few insights gleaned in a deep dive into the entries.

First, we were struck by the sheer diversity of the contributions—in terms of geography, organization size and type, industry, and the role of the management innovator. In the finalist pool alone, the innovators hail from Scandinavia, France, Australia, Latin America, Japan, and the United States. They represent multi-billion dollar global companies, government agencies, software companies, cement makers, eyeglass manufacturers, retailers, insurance providers and tomato processors.

That diversity is matched only by the deep humanity of the entries. While each contributor responded to the challenge to share progressive practices and disruptive ideas from the world of the Web and social technology, every single entry starts with the values—trust, freedom, generosity, community, meritocracy—that feed human flourishing. The more homespun, idiosyncratic, and playful the approach, the more compelling.

Next, if you weren’t already hip to the notion that great ideas can come from anyone (and anywhere), these stories and hacks will quickly (and definitively) flip that switch. Again and again, leaders and in-the-trenches innovators made the case that creating the future is everybody’s business—and the real work of the management is crafting a mechanism for drawing out the hidden genius, collective wisdom, and unlikely insights both within and beyond the organization. What’s more, we’ve moved well beyond “idea farms” toward clever designs for collective evaluation and collaborative development of ideas. How are you involving your core constituents in shaping the future of your organization?

Finally, as crucial as it is to advance individual autonomy (from the small freedoms of where, when, and how to work to the bigger, cognitive freedom of what to work on) when it comes to creating a healthy culture of innovation, it’s just as important to strengthen the social fabric of an organization. The best entries offered up inspiring and instructive approaches to cultivating and supporting connections between peers (across all boundaries) and facilitating intersections between unlikely realms.

 Now, without further ado, meet the finalists (in alphabetical order):

Massive Storytelling Sessions
Hack by Alberto Blanco, Alex Perwich, Jonathan Opp, Tony Manavalan

InnovationLive: Engaging 3M’s Global Employees in Creating an Exciting, Growth-Focused Future
Story by Barry K. Dayton

Take Off that White Coat
Hack by Sonja Dieterich

The Deliberative Corporation
Hack by James Fishkin and Bobby Fishkin

Wisdom of Crowds to Empower Beyond Budgeting
Hack by Michael Gebauer and Franz Roosli

Strategic Planning the Wikimedia Way: Bottom-Up and Outside-In
Story by Chris Grams, Philippe Beaudette, Eugene Eric Kim

The Colleague Letter of Understanding: Replacing Jobs with Commitments
Story by Paul Green

Everyone Innovates Every Day—Collaborative Idea Management at Ericsson
Story by Magnus Karlsson

Making Large-Scale Deliberations Better, Online: The Deliberatorium
Hack by Mark Klein

Nobody’s as Smart as Everybody—Unleashing Individual Brilliance and Aligning Collective Genius
Story by Jim Lavoie

Entangled Talents: a 21st-century Social Learning System
Story by Frédéric Leconte

From bureaucratic, divided, passive, and exhausted to productive, creative, autonomous, and happy

Free to Fork
Hack by David Mason, Jonathan Opp, and Gunther Brinkman

Idea Market: A stock exchange metaphor for empowering collaborative innovation
Story by Maria Paula Oliveira

The Limits of Informal "2.0" Collaboration and Why Changing the Official Process Matters
Hack by Chris Rasmussen

It’s the Culture, Stupid! Hos Atlassian Maintains an Open Information Culture
Story by John Rotenstein

Shift Changes the Way Cemex Works
Story by Jesus Gilberto Garcia

Meeting Consensus
Hack by Sean Schofield

Civil Servants Cut through the Red Tape and Share Government Forward
Story by Kim Spinder

My Customer: One Voice is Noise, Many is a Chorus—Voice of the Customer through the Employee
Story by Steve Wallin

Congratulations to one and all!

What’s next? The finalists have the opportunity to further develop their entries between now and the final deadline of September 5, 2011 (Labor Day). During this month, I’ll be exploring several of the stories and hacks and their lessons in greater depth in this space. Meanwhile, we hope all of you will explore the Management

A hearty thanks to everyone who contributed, our fantastic judges, and the MIX hackathon community for your extra effort in rating and commenting on the entries. We all win when everybody plays.

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christian-de-neef's picture

Some great hacks selected as finalists...  Congrats!  And some I would have expected, given their popularity and ranking, are inexplicably absent...  Not disagreeing with the selection, but just wondering how much the community vote has played in the final outcome?  Thanks & keep up the good work! - @cdn

gus-wilson's picture
Well done and congratulations to all of the Semi-finalists. I look foward to seeing who is the winner.