If organizations are going to evolve from the hierarchical, command-and-control structure that has dominated over the past century to a new model where trust, transparency and meritocracy are guiding principles, they're going to need to change the way they develop leaders. To gain some insight into how the leadership development process is adapting to the challenge of creating leaders who are inclusive, progressive, and able to look beyond their organization for great ideas, we turned to the MIX community. With our partners at HCI, the Human Capital Institute , we sponsored the HCI Human Capital M-Prize on Leadership , and we asked you to share your stories on leadership development.
One of the most interesting themes of MIX content in the year since we launched has been the role of technology in management innovation, especially social networks. Mavericks and MIXers alike have made made the argument that the effects of Web 2.0 technologies on the organization and the people in it are huge -- not minor changes to the way we work, but revolutionary changes to the way we view work.
For example, employees who have grown used to the meritocracy, the ease, and the capabilities available to them on the consumer web are impatient with organizations that can't perform at that same level. Want to create a new service or show off an accomplishment? It takes only a few minutes to do that on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or the hundreds of sites that host various services on the cloud, from team collaboration to email services and product prototyping. So why should it take weeks or months to accomplish something similar in a rigid organization?
The most innovative workers won't sit still for IT and the rest of the organization to catch up. They'll move on to create it on their own or for another organization that can...
I've long been a fan of Financial Times columnist Lucy Kellaway's talent for skewering corporate speak and the hubris that lies behind it. Her Martin Lukes columns were gems of satire, illustrating ways managers should never behave through the squirmingly embarrassing -- though hilariously entertaining -- Blackberry missives of a fictional British marketing exec in the would-be "Masters of the Universe" mold.
Her Monday column in this week's FT is a timely (given the season) contrast of awful and somewhat-better ways to deliver bad news in corporate memos. The first obscures the bad news of 1,400 layoffs at State Street in a chorus of chest-thumping pomposity about the company's invincibility, while the second delivers a clear and honest explanation of why a senior executive is leaving Gawker.
Elad Gil, head of Geo at Twitter, has a great new post on Tech Crunch, "The 5 Myths of Building A Great Mobile Team." Gil, who has experience building teams at Google and a handful of startups, hammers on the need to hire great engineers who can be flexible as their tasks change. That tagline for his first principle is, "Hire great athletes; mobile 'experts' will be useless in 6 months."
While Gil's post describes building teams of engineers who can develop mobile apps, his points are widely applicable. As organizations learn they must reinvent themselves perennially (some would say constantly), teams and individuals need to be able to as well.
So maybe we just need a new type of expert: someone who is adept at reinventing themselves by spotting new opportunities, learning new skills, and bringing them to the table to create new products and processes.
Tim O’Reilly is well known as a publisher, a venture capitalist, and a technology evangelist. His ability to clearly explain the significance of evolving web technologies on our organizations, our markets, and our governments led us to seek out his thoughts on the way that these changes affect management. We've invited him to become our newest Maverick at the Management Innovation eXchange.
In his most recent conversation with us , Tim talks about how decision making is shifting from the center -- where we usually find it in a traditional command-and-control organization – out to the edges. We’ve read about this before, perhaps most notably in the writings of John Hagel and John Seeley Brown, Jr., who talk about the intelligence at the edge of organizations and how to make best use of them to keep organizations nimble and evolving. Our conversation with Tim built on that idea and explained why that shift of authority should be coupled with an ability to measure the impact of decisions, to understand the feedback, and to revise action based on what the data is telling those edge decision makers. In other words, shifting decision making from a central...