It's time to reinvent management. You can help.

FAQ

  • What is the MIX?
    • The MIX (Management Innovation eXchange) is an open innovation project aimed at reinventing management for the 21st century. The premise: while “modern” management is one of humankind’s most important inventions, it is now a mature technology that must be reinvented for a new age. In order to thrive in the future, organizations must become as adaptable, innovative, inspiring and socially accountable as the people inside them.
       
      The MIX is an online clearinghouse and a virtual laboratory which helps to accelerate the pace of management innovation by energizing and organizing the conversation around the most critical challenges facing managers today — and by providing a practical platform where they can document, share and develop their leading-edge ideas and practices.
       
      The MIX is a stage for management innovators everywhere. It’s for all the inspired thinkers and radical doers who believe we can — and must — find alternatives to the bureaucratic and disempowering management practices that still rule most organizations.
  • What's the story behind the MIX?
    • ​In May 2008, thirty-five management scholars and practitioners came together to begin the work of defining an agenda for management innovation in the 21st century. Convened by Gary Hamel (one of the world’s leading experts on management and strategy), this “renegade brigade” included veteran management experts like Peter Senge, C.K. Prahalad, Jeffrey Pfeffer, Yves Doz, and Tom Malone, new-age management thinkers like James Surowiecki and Andrew McAfee, progressive CEOs, including John Mackey (Whole Foods), Eric Schmidt (Google), Terri Kelly (W.L. Gore), Tim Brown (IDEO), and Vineet Nayar (HCL Technologies), and a variety of other inspired thinkers.

      Before arriving in Half Moon Bay, California for the two-day confab, each member of the “renegade brigade” participated in an hour-long interview. The double-barreled question: What is it about the way large organizations are currently managed that will most imperil their ability to thrive in the decades ahead; and given this, what fundamental changes will be needed in management principles, processes and practices? A summary of the interview transcripts was circulated to all the participants in advance of the meeting.

      Once together, the attendees shared perspectives in large and small groups. Throughout, the conversations were energetic, passionate and sometimes contentious. Yet all those present were mindful of the ultimate goal: to nominate a roster of make-or-break challenges that would empower and focus the energies of management innovators around the world.

      In taking on this task, the participants drew inspiration from the work of the National Academy of Engineering, which recently proposed a list of “grand engineering challenges” for the 21st century. (Among the stretch goals: reverse engineering the human brain, advancing health informatics, and developing methods for carbon sequestration.) Why, we wondered, shouldn’t those of us in the management profession commit ourselves to a set of similarly ambitious innovation targets?

      The end product, which emerged after several rounds of post-event synthesis, was a roster of twenty-five Management Moonshots — ambitious objectives for reinventing one of humankind’s most important social technologies and the problem architecture for the MIX

  • Who is behind the MIX?

    • You can learn more about the MIX team here. The MIX is the product of many minds — individuals from around the world with deep expertise and shared passion when it comes to reinventing management. They include the members of the original “renegade brigade” convened by Gary Hamel in May 2008. The development of the MIX is supported by several partners who share a similar for management innovation. MIX partners include Dell Computer, HCL Technologies, London Business School, and McKinsey & Company.

  • What is Management Innovation?

    • Management - the methods and tools used to mobilize human efforts to productive ends 7mdash; is one of humanity’s most important “social technologies.” Managerial work lies at the heart of every organization. This work typically entails:

      • Setting & programming objectives
      • Motivating & aligning effort
      • Accumulating & allocating resources
      • Coordinating & controlling activities
      • Acquiring & applying knowledge
      • Building & nurturing relationships
      • Defining & tracking metrics
    •  
    • Management innovation is anything that changes the way this work is carried out, or who performs it. In large organizations, the only effective way to change the nature of managerial work is to alter the rituals and routines that control that work. Typical management processes include:

      • Strategic planning
      • Budgeting
      • Project management
      • Employee training and development
      • Performance reviews
      • Compensation and promotion
      • Knowledge management
      • Internal communications
      • Risk assessment and mitigation
  • What are the Management Moonshots?
    • The Management Moonshots are the heart and soul of the MIX — a roster of make-or-break challenges designed to focus the energies of management innovators everywhere. They emerged in response to a simple but profoundly urgent question: What needs to be done to create organizations that are truly fit for the future?

      These moonshots (which are neither exclusive nor exhaustive, but central and urgent) became the problem architecture and organizing principle for the MIX. They are the big, thorny problems that have long bedeviled organizations of every description — and the challenges that must be addressed in order to reinvent management for the 21st century. The moonshots not only organize the conversation, they dare each and every one of us to dream big when it comes to imagining a better future. Big challenges don’t always produce big breakthroughs, but small problems never do — and we believe that life is too short to work on inconsequential problems. If that’s how you feel too, then we invite you to dream big and help invent the future of management.

  • What is the M-Prize?

    • The MIX is launching the first-ever prize for management innovation—the M-Prize. Do you want to play a role in improving the technology of human accomplishment? If you have a real-world story of management innovation or a bold idea for overturning management-as-usual, post it on the MIX and enter to win the M-Prize. Visit the M-Prize page for contest details.

  • How do I know if the MIX is for me?

    • Tackling the urgent challenge of reinventing management for the 21st century is everybody’s business. You don’t have to be a guru or a CEO—or even a “manager” by title—to be an effective management innovator. We’re looking for progressive thinkers and radical doers of all stripes and from every realm of endeavor.

    • If you're...

    • ...a mid-level manager working to reinvent a key management process and eager to trade ideas with innovative peers,

    • ...a young or newly-hired employee who wants to test a radical management idea with a sympathetic and sophisticated audience before pitching it to the boss,

    • ...a lateral thinker from outside the world of business who sees an opportunity to address a pressing management challenge from an entirely new angle,

    • ...a corporate staffer who’s under pressure to dramatically improve organizational performance and is looking for breakthrough ideas,

    • ...an academic thought leader who’s stumbled upon an unconventional solution to a perennial management problem and is hunting for an organization that might be willing to host a management experiment,

    • ...an inspired innovator who’s implemented a bold new management practice and believes it could serve as a model for other organizations around the world,

    • the MIX is for you.

  • What can I do on the MIX?

    • The MIX is an open innovation platform that gives every management innovator the chance to share a little and learn a lot. But you have to jump in. Here’s how:

      Identify a barrier
       
      Have you run into a roadblock that’s frustrating management innovation in your organization? Identify the practical barriers to reinventing management and enlist the help of other MIXers in discovering a way forward.
       
      Invent a hack
       
      Do you have a bold idea for tackling a critical management challenge? Propose your radical fix and let the MIX community help you flesh it out.
       
      Share a story
       
      Has your organization (or one you know) challenged the management status quo? Write up a short case study and post it on the MIX.
       
      Add to The MIX List
       
      Have you come across anything that has stretched your thinking about how to lead, manage or organize—a news item, blog post, or video clip? Provide a link and tell us why it’s relevant. We’ll post the best submissions on The MIX List.
       
      Help others
       
      Is there something on the MIX you can make better? If so, offer a comment, suggest a build, or ask a penetrating question. Innovation is a social process. Your contributions matter.
  • Do I have to register to use the MIX?

    • While the MIX is open to everyone, becoming a full-fledged member of the community has its privileges. Registered MIXers can:

      • Post your own contributions and rate those submitted by others.
      • Gain visibility and recognition as a valued MIX contributor.
      • Build a personal network of selected MIX members, and use private messaging to collaborate on specific issues and ideas.
      • Subscribe to alerts and notifications.
      • Participate in the M-Prize
    • If you’re ready to mix it up with management innovators around the world, register here.

  • How do I enter the M-Prize?

  • My Contributions

    • I have come up with what I believe is a pretty good management "hack." Since anyone (including my competitors) will be able to see my idea once it's posted to the MIX, why would I want to share it?

      While your concern is understandable, experience suggests that virtually every management innovation can be improved upon by giving a broader community of innovators the chance to challenge its underlying hypotheses, provide feedback, and offer suggestions for improvement. This is exactly what the MIX is designed to do. By posting an idea on the MIX — and using the wisdom of the community to improve it — you will almost certainly gain more than you give.
       
      What about confidential data? Is there information I shouldn’t post?
       
      In our experience, most companies are willing to share the broad outlines and salient features of their management practices, a fact that journalists and business school case writers have long used to chronicle the successes (and occasional failures) of organizations throughout the world. That said, every organization is understandably eager to protect trade secrets, forward-looking financial data, and product plans. The goal of the MIX is to encourage a dialog amongst management innovators, not to serve as a conduit for disseminating highly confidential information. We encourage MIXers to follow the guidelines of their organization in selecting what to share with the MIX community (and/or your best judgement!). If a piece of data feels too sensitive to share, then it probably is.
       
      I have spent a good deal of time thinking through my contribution, and I don't want to lose control of it. Is there some way I can prevent it from being mangled by the MIX community?
       
      While the MIX encourages users to suggest enhancements to ideas submitted by others, it is left to the discretion of the original contributor on whether or not to formally incorporate these “builds” into the original post. Your post is not a “wiki" — no one can edit it without your permission. However, MIXers are encouraged to leverage the expertise of fellow users in improving the quality of their ideas.
       
      What’s a “Top MIXer” and how do I become one?
       
      One of the overriding objectives of the MIX is to recognize and celebrate management innovators from around the world whose groundbreaking ideas have the potential to dramatically change management practice. By providing these innovations a much-deserved forum, the MIX serves as a “force multiplier,” enabling such individuals to inspire and mentor others to develop their own ideas.
       
      To this end, the MIX incorporates a scoring algorithm to quantify the value of each member’s contributions. This data is converted into a reputational capital score. This score is used to award specific privileges, which might include elevating a user’s contributions to a featured position on the Story, Hack, Barrier, MIX List or Home page or earning a contributor a place on the Top MIXer list.
       
      Calculation of a member's reputational capital score is fairly straightforward: members earn points based on both contribution frequency (with points earned for each contribution adjusted for the type and form of contribution), and contribution value (with points adjusted upwards based on favorable feedback).
       
      How do I become a MIX "Maverick?"
       
      The MIX is designed to recognize and reward those who consistently contribute high-quality content—whether original submissions, "builds" on someone else's contribution, insightful comments or questions, a link to a helpful resource, or an assessment of a contribution. Those who contribute highly-rated content on a regular basis will be granted additional visibility and privileges on the site, up to and including being nominated as an "MIX Maverick." MIX Maverick appointments are made by the MIX’s editorial staff.
  • My Account

    • When I registered for the MIX, I was asked to provide additional profile information. How is this data used?

      As the MIX matures, the sheer volume of content on the site is likely to create challenges with respect to organizing and presenting the information. To address this, all contributions will be tagged with information drawn from user profiles. These tags will allow users to sort and filter MIX content, resulting in an improved user experience. User profile data will also be used to support the social networking functions of the MIX, allowing members to search for other users according to their profile data. In keeping with our privacy policy, this profile information won’t be shared with 3rd parties.

      What is Facebook Connect?

      Facebook Connect is a service offered by Facebook so that people can log into their favorite sites using their Facebook username and password. To try Facebook Connect, just choose the Facebook login option at the top of any MIX page.

      In addition to making it easier to log into the MIX, Facebook Connect also allows you to use your name and profile photo from your Facebook account on the MIX.
      If you already have a MIX account you can connect it to your Facebook account by clicking the Facebook Connect icon in the "My Account" area when logged in.

      I have a question that’s not addressed in this FAQ. What should I do?

      Please let us know! The MIX is, first and foremost, yours. It is purpose-built as a platform and a laboratory for you to advance your ideas, experiments, and passions around management innovation. But it’s also designed to evolve according to your feedback. Let us know what’s working, what’s not, and what new ideas you have for making the experience more compelling. Feel free to contact us at any time!