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Introducing The Beyond Bureaucracy Challenge

by Polly LaBarre on October 11, 2011
polly-labarre's picture

Introducing The Beyond Bureaucracy Challenge

We're delighted to introduce the second leg of The Harvard Business Review/McKinsey M-Prize for Management Innovation.

For too long, the ruling ideology of too many organizations has been bureaucratic control. So much of organizational life goes against the grain of human nature--advancing compliance and conformance over individual expression and discretion, top-down command over passion-driven performance, tight control over autonomy and flexibility.

It's time to turn organizations upside-down and inside-out.

The Beyond Bureaucracy Challenge seeks to advance progress on making organizations genuinely fit for human beings--more inspiring, open, and free. Specifically, we're looking for Stories and Hacks that offer up the most progressive practices and disruptive ideas around:

  • Making organizations more inspiring and engaging: What does it mean to build an organization in which everyone is aligned by a deeply-felt sense of purpose--and in which management assumptions and practices inspire and unleash imagination, initiative, and energy from every quarter?
  • Developing an outside-in orientation: What does it take to eliminate the gaps between "sense" and "respond," to inject the voice of the customer and other relevant stakeholders into every decision, and to make the insights and observations of every individual--from edge to edge--matter?
  • Managing without managers: How do we reduce the performance drag of top-heavy management structures, replace "manager-management" with a more agile self- or peer-management, and replace rigid hierarchy with a vibrant social system?

Any registered MIXer can participate in the M-Prize. If you do, you earn the opportunity to have your ideas considered by a stellar roster of judges, including Colin Price, director of McKinsey & Company, Gary Hamel, cofounder, the MIX and author of The Future of Management, Tom Malone, professor, MIT Sloan School of Management and founding director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, Eric Hellweg, Editor, Harvard Business Review Online.

What's more, the winners will receive significant recognition as management innovators on the MIX, Harvard Business Review and, The McKinsey Quarterly and Winners will also earn the chance to appear at the MIX Live gathering scheduled for spring 2012 (details TBD).

To get your engines revving, Gary Hamel and Colin Price offer up their thinking on the subject of creating inspiring, open, and free organizations in this post. You might also want to review the stories and hacks that have already begun to populate the Beyond Bureaucracy Challenge pipeline. And watch this space for regular highlights and analysis of the best contributions, provocative points of view from our mavericks, and other sources of inspiration and support as the M-Prize unfolds.

As always, let us know if you have any questions or feedback about the contest. And good luck!

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laxman-ganapati's picture
Isn't  an  inside-out 'stellar roster of judges' a contradiction? What say do the outside-in stakeholders on the edge have in picking a hack or a disruptive idea?