Earning Your Place in the Market

[YouTube, 16:14']

How do we build organizations that are fit for the future? And how do we build them so that they're fit for human beings?

In this content-packed video business strategist Gary Hamel talks about reverse accountability, reinventing the technology of human accomplishment, and using that as the lever to make businesses more resilient and enduring.

It is time to radically rethink how businesses mobilize people and organize resources to productive ends.

Hamel argues that management was one of the world-changing inventions of the last 100 years. It was revolutionary when it was ideated. Yet, in the face of the enormous challenges businesses currently face, from hyper competition to earning one's place in the market every day, management has hardly changed at all.

In a best-practices world where knowledge has become a commodity, where change is unrelenting, organizations need to reinvent the way they hire, lead, plan, implement, motivate — all of those things that make mobilizing people toward a common set of goals possible.

This makes business competitive, and inspires people to create. Even better, innovate. If you've ever worked in a firm where you could bring your whole self to work with you, you know what that feels like. It's liberating to have room for creativity and invention.

Now, before you go ahead and proclaim social media as the answer, I'd like you to pause and think about the question for a moment. It's not better marketing, it's not hiring by keywords and degrees (sadly, often also the product of clever marketing), it's not about how many friends and followers a brand has, either.

It's about performance, concentrated focus, and doing better deals, yes. Those are all outcomes of organizations that are more adaptable, innovative, and creative. Think about knowledge as memory — and memory is cheap, you can get it (almost) for free today. 

What you need is clock speed. This is beyond the ability to learn faster, as Hamel says in the video. It's about making connection with meaning. Businesses that become more engaging places to work will win. It's about bringing the human resilience, strength, and endurance back into the business.

So how much is your brand worth to a fan? The calculation starts on the inside. Are your people able to being their gifts of creativity and inventiveness to work every day? Hamel has some advice for managers:

  1. innovate, best practices are not good enough anymore
  2. challenge dogma (it was invented to turn human beings into robots)
  3. learn from the fringe

A short two days ago, we talked about the Peter Principle for business, and the example of a company that is having difficulty with those three points. Here's another story of a culture that didn't make room for creativity and innovation, where persuading leadership was a losing battle.

Most of you have had similar experiences, of that I am sure. We need to build better businesses — business that earn their place in the market.


[hat tip Paul Isakson]

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