Will reinventing management so that it is Web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0 and Gov 2.0 'friendly' give us Management 2.0
Looking at the various 2.0s through the lens of engagement across boundaries it is doubtful that reinvention is sufficient. Why? Because so much of the baggage associated with the concept of management, along with the organizational arrangements that support it, are a reflection of Management 1.0.
Why? Because there is an underlying ideology associated with both. Management 1.0 is fundamentally about control, Management 2.0 is about engagement. In a world where information and connection are paramount Management 1.0 has no place.
So should we aim to zero Management 1.0 from the outset? And how? By getting on with engaging across boundaries.
Reflecting on what I have written (and the language used in the Gov 2.0 and Management 2.0 domains), isn't it is about time we dropped the 1.0 or 2.0 thing. It is a painful use of the English language. As we should be writing for the world to see shouldn't we stop creating jargon?
Social media is people. And isn't that what management should always be about? And maybe this 2.0 stuff is really a loud knock on the door saying, "Hey what about us - All?" And maybe that is where Management 1.0 has lost the plot and, therefore, why we need to zero it. Sorry, take out bad management.
The problem my hack is intended to address are the management impediments to progress in the Gov 2.0 agenda. Certainly America, the United Kingdom and Australia have many points on the board in terms of the use of Web 2.0 and social media technologies in government. However, the constant hum from public servants and, indeed, citizens is that we could be doing so much better.
Yes, there are many projects and a lot of people are doing tremendous work. However, ask people whether there is widespread engagement, dialogue and collaboration and the answer is invariably no and, within the public sector, organisational culture is frequently cited as the core problem.
Organizational culture? Well yes and no. It is a good shorthand term and does a great job of keeping numerous organizational development practitioners in a job. However, scrape away at this and what you usually find is that people are concerned about:
- Intrusive management (It's so hard to get things done around here)
- An over emphasis on conformity (Don't rock the boat)
- Poor information flows (Knowledge as power)
- Organizational silos (Empire building)
The above issues have been around for decades. That's despite re-engineering and despite armies of organizational development practitioners working away at great expense. While it is always tempting to look at these issues as being symptomatic of organizational culture the reality is that they are:
- Created by a style of managing and organizing that is now being labelled Management 1.0
- Perpetuated by managers and corporate areas with a vested interest in the status quo
- Practices and attributes that shape organizational culture
These issues are, in fact, cultural artefacts and they are perpetuated by management practices rightly labelled Management 1.0. The impact of these artefacts and practices on organizations and employees is profound as they:
- Prevent the free flow of information
- Politicize decision making
- Repress dissent and diverse views
These cultural artefacts and management practices are anathema to Web 2.0 technologies in general and the entire Gov 2.0 agenda.
However, Web 2.0 technologies, especially social media, are creating a massive impetus towards values centred on the:
- Democratization of information
- Depoliticization of decision making
- Encouragement of dissent (democratization of innovation)
These technologies are creating this impetus because by connecting us they reflect who we are. That is, social beings carrying out our work in organizations that, for all the faults they may have, are social settings.
So what we have with Web 2.0 and social media technologies is convergence between people, values and technology. Add to that an emerging realisation that this convergence can benefit the work and business of organizations and the question becomes very practical. How do we dispense with (zero) Management 1.0?
And that is not to forget the work of the MIX which, of course, has a distinct management focus.
I am sure people can identify many more sites and resources. However, the point is that a rich tapestry is being written by people, many of them from outside the organizations they are part of. What they are all doing is engaging across boundaries.
And that, my friends, suggests a clear solution. Continue to engage across boundaries, but do more of it with a clear view to discrediting and dispensing with the cultural artefacts and practices that are Management 1.0.
On the positive side of the balance sheet what is already being done by the MIX is to build a picture of Management 2.0
So the challenge and solution becomes one of strategy. Not only what we do to build Management 2.0 but what we do together to dispense with or zero Management 1.0.
- Democratize information
- Depoliticize decision making
- Encourage dissent (democratize of innovation)
- Improve service delivery
The outcome being more engaged, creative, innovative and productive people and, therefore, organizations. The salient point being that social media technologies are a weapon for zeroing Managment 1.0. In some respects this is happening already. The question is how much sooner would this be achieved through a deliberate strategy to zero Management 1.0?
At the risk of stating the obvious, people are social, organisations have to be social and social media technologies enhance both. Looked at in that light it is not an overly long bow to draw to consider the practices, behaviours and cultural artefacts characteristic of Management 1.0 as a form of deviance.
So another practical impact would probably be more healthy organizations.
- If you don't have the technology, obtain it.
- Develop a social media policy. Here's a great one.
- Harness your dissenters.
- Zero Management 1.0.
- Make it clear what Management 2.0 looks like.
- If you have a social media person in your organisation get them working with your organisational development practitioner.
- Build your organisational culture together. It is everyones' job.
- Allow managers who still engage in Management 1.0 practices to leave with dignity.