Radical Management: Reinventing the Workplace for the 21st Century
Steve Denning (http://www.stevedenning.com)
Seven Principles of Radical Management
- focus work on delighting clients/customers (delight)
- do the work in self-organizing teams (agency, responsibility)
- do work in client-driven iterations (approximations)
- delivering value to clients in each iteration (min WIP, feedback)
- radical transparency (esp. impediments, improvements)
- create context for continuous self-improvement by teams
- interactive communication (stories, questions, conversations v. directives, mandates)
- not individually new ideas, but integrated approach is new
- these are integrated, mutually supporting whole
- need to implement them together, not dabble in a few
RM Principles represent/require/invite
- A shift in goal from making money for shareholders to delighting customers through continuous innovation.
- A shift in the role of managers from controlling individuals to enabling self-organizing teams.
- A shift in the way work is coordinated from bureaucracy to dynamic linking.
- A shift in values from a preoccupation with efficiency to a broader set of values that will foster continuous innovation.
- A shift in communications from top-down commands to horizontal communications.
Common Experience, Ideal
- peak experience, everyone pulling together, all-for-one and one-for-all
- groups/teams vibrantly alive, extraordinarily productive or successful
- long or short, recent or long ago, the kind of group that has/wishes for reunion(s)
- usually a small group
Traditional Management treated as inevitable, timeless truths of universe, but RM reexamines these. Socio-economic conditions that required these ways of working have changed:
- command and control
- tightly planned work
- competition through economies of scale and cost reduction
Four Major Changes
- The Work has shifted from semi-skilled to knowledge work. Knowledge workers canít be supervised, controlled.
- The Organization needs workforce commitment. Engagement is a choice, not a directive. Workers want salary AND meaning. Uninspired, unengaged talent is value lost to the org.
- The Customers have taken charge. Customers have lots of options and can leave when not delighted. Shifts the work from simply delivering goods/services to delighting customers. Need to convert customers to advocates/promoters. Zero defects isnít enough, need continuous innovation to surprise customers. Delighting is primary goal, more important than profit, turnover, market share. Requires everyone to have clear sight into how their work contributes to customer delight.
- The System has is not delighting. Delighting is complex, takes more than just an efficient delivery system, can only be achieved by successive approximations and adjustments, is a moving target so requires continuous innovation. Workers want to be treated like grownup humans not parts in a machine.
- people canít be trusted to do the right thing
- world is knowable and predictable in advance
- people at the top know more than people at the bottom
Some Key Attributes/Effects? of RM
- decreasing daily grind, increasing laughter, discovery, surprise
- productivity gains via working smarter, more together
- organic evolution, adoption of RM - imposing doesnít work
- new ways of thinking, managing and participating in work
- not a quick fix or incremental, peripheral tweaks to the system
- eventually needs/will affect everything in the organization
- not a panacea - some work still done alone, some work still understood as ďunskilledĒ with small knowledge component, in public sector some work must delight society as a whole (e.g. justice system) requiring neutral response that doesnít favor one customer group over another
- end goal: doing stuff we love, with colleagues who share our passion, serving others, and getting steadily better at it