Humanize is a guided tour of what the next era in management is going to look like.
Maddie Grant's insight:
"Throughout human history, we have been dependent upon machines to survive. Fate, it seems, it not without a sense of irony. "
- Morpheus, in The Matrix, 1999
Humanize is a guided tour of the next era in management.
The current era in management is winding down. It started 100 years ago, when management was invented by people who were focused on efficiency and productivity and modeled the way we run organizations after machines. This has worked for us. We have become very productive over the last century.
But this approach has limitations, the most obvious of which is our inability engage employees in their work. 70% are disengaged, and the numbers have been like that for years. That’s a lot of potential, wasted. And we’re also finding that our organizations have become too slow. Regardless of size, we can’t keep up with the pace of change. These are two of a growing list of management problems that never seem to go away—an indicator of an era coming to a close.
Humanize is a guided tour of what the next era in management is going to look like. Inspired by the ways in which social media has been successful, we identify twelve aspects of organizational life, spanning across culture, structure, process, and behavior, that will allow us to retain our machine-like efficiency while simultaneously solving our most pressing management problems (e.g., engagement, agility).
Each aspect is a door to be opened, a path to be followed, where you can experiment with what this new way of leading and managing will look like. And it doesn’t matter where you are in the org chart. We all will have the opportunity to define this new era of management. The book gives you examples from companies who are embracing these ideas already and provides resources for you to plan your own activities.
So come join the movement. Help us usher in this new era of management and leadership. We’re encouraged by the growing body of research, writing, and practice that is bringing this new approach to life. Join us.
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The Frontier Project is a two-day process designed on a framework that HP pioneered for accelerated decision-making. HP and other organizations have used this process to fuel the creation of ideas and manifest them through rapid prototyping.
Remember that classic New Yorker cartoon with Rover sitting in front of a computer? The caption read, “On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog.” Well, on the web, no one knows you’re a senior vice president either. That’s why every leader is going to have to learn how to get things done in a world where authority is the reciprocal of followership.
As traditional hierarchies get supplanted by networked, or “social,” organizations, leadership will become less a function of “where you sit,” than of “what you can do.” Any company that strives to build a leadership advantage will need more than a celebrity CEO and a corporate university that serves up tasty educational morsels to the “high potentials.” It will need an organizational model that gives everyone the chance to lead if they’re capable; and a talent development model that helps everyone to become capable.
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This role requires leadership, not from a single individual, but as a fundamental competency that is exercised consistently across the organization. To help ensure this level of success, NFPA will seek, develop, and reward staff members who exhibit the following values and behaviors.
In my view, this single value--systemic leadership--transcended all others, and needed to be brought into a position of prominence over whatever followed. Too often, I had seen projects and initiatives fail because someone deferred leadership to someone else--to another staff person, to me, to a committee chair, to the Board--instead up stepping up and doing what needed to be done to make the advancement that was needed.
Fitness Australia, an association based in Sydney, is an organization that has taken the principles we laid out in Humanize and is now showing amazing results in their revenue growth, employee engagement and retention, and other success metrics.