These books reflect on the changes taking place within society and within organisations, and show how the two are interlinked. Julian Birkinshaw's new book, Reinventing Management, belongs in the Drucker category. Its central thesis is that each organisation has a management system composed of a variety of elements that have been developed over time.
This management model, 'the set of choices we make about how work gets done in an organisation', has four basic dichotomies that blend together. It can be bureaucratic or loose; hierarchical or collective; clearly aligned or oblique; and, lastly, motivational through the pursuit of money or through the pursuit of inherent reward. Birkinshaw points out that managers have a choice. He doesn't say that bureaucratic, hierarchical organisations are awful and we must all strive towards a knowledge-intensive, collaborative, self-fulfilling nirvana.
Instead, his thesis might be characterised as the 'Goldilocks and the three bears' school of management: the challenge is where to sleep. Recently, he says, too great an emphasis has been placed on strategy and leadership - the vision of the destination - and not enough on managerial graft.
He begins with a short tour of the origins of management systems. Pre-industrial systems were small-scale and loose. For the most part, technological innovations are discrete knowledge assets that can be codified, since they consist of some physical process or product and can be replicated with relative ease. Management innovations, on the other hand, are more likely to be specific to the system in which they were created, which is usually a highly complex social system with many different actors and relationships.
Management innovations are also relatively tacit in nature, as evidenced by the need for outside experts like consultants to implement the innovations as they diffuse across many organizations. It is therefore not surprising that the management innovation process ends up being relatively gradual and that external agents are often brought in to justify, shape and legitimize the activity. Our research revealed a management innovation model with four main stages, with different roles played by internal and external actors at each stage.
The key central phase, invention, is preceded by a combination of dissatisfaction with the status quo inside the company and inspiration from others typically outside the company. Invention is then followed by a process of validation both inside and outside the company. Stage One: Dissatisfaction With the Status Quo In the cases we studied, the internal problem that management innovation addressed was always some level of dissatisfaction with the status quo within the company. The level of dissatisfaction varied, ranging from a nagging operational problem to a strategic threat to an impending crisis.
Consider the crisis-driven end of the spectrum first. Litton Interconnection Products was a factory in Glenrothes, Scotland, engaged in the assembly of back-plane systems for computers. In , George Black was brought in by the U. It was deliberately contrarian, and somewhat risky, but we did not have much to lose.
Employees were trained in a broad range of skills, from manufacturing to sales to service. The net result was a dramatic improvement in customer responsiveness, reduced cycle time and much lower staff turnover.
The most common source of dissatisfaction leading to innovation is a strategic threat that has started to take shape through changes in the business environment or the emergence of new competitors.
Big pharmaceutical companies like GSK were suffering from declining productivity in their research and development activities, while at the same time many biotechnology companies were becoming remarkably successful, despite having only a fraction of the resources of GSK.
They are also very good at the later stages of drug development — running large clinical trials. It is in the important middle ground of this process — converting promising compounds into viable products —where the flexibility and responsiveness of smaller biotech firms is essential. Although the real results of this innovation will not be known for many more years, the early indicators are very promising.
A third type of dissatisfaction that can lead to innovation is the nagging operational problem. Motorola, like many Western companies at the time, was struggling to keep up with the quality levels produced by its Japanese competitors. Six Sigma was revolutionary in its consequences for Motorola and for many other companies, but it was evolutionary in its origins. These three examples highlight the multifaceted nature of dissatisfaction.
Dissatisfaction can be framed as a future threat, a current problem or a means to escape a crisis. But the important point is that management innovation is generally a response to some form of challenge facing the organization.
Unlike technological innovations, which are sometimes created in a laboratory without much thought as to what problem they might solve, management innovations tend to emerge through necessity. Stage Two: Inspiration From Other Sources While management innovators have a desire to make their company a better place, they also need inspiration, such as examples of what has worked in other settings, analogies from different social systems or unproven but alluring new ideas.
Our research did not suggest any particular patterns in the sources of new ideas, but it revealed a breadth of thinking among management innovators that allowed them to strike out on their own paths. One source of inspiration was the ideas of management thinkers and gurus. In the early s, Oticon, a hearing-aid company based in Copenhagen, Denmark, developed a radical organization model with no formal hierarchical reporting relationships, a resource allocation system built around self-organized project teams and an entirely open-plan physical layout.
This new model helped Oticon achieve dramatic increases in profitability over the rest of the decade. Lars Kolind, the CEO of Oticon and the architect of these changes, got his inspiration for this organizational model from his deep involvement in the Boy Scouts of America movement. There is no game-playing, no intrigue; we are one family brought together through common goals. An interesting example is Art Schneiderman, the manager at Analog Devices who in developed the prototype for what became known as the Balanced Scorecard.
This background gave Schneiderman insight into continuous improvement techniques that were being used in Japan, plus a systemwide perspective on the functioning of the organization. Most companies get sucked into a pattern of benchmarking and competitor-watching that leads to highly convergent practices within an industry. By gaining inspiration from other sources, the management innovators in these three companies were able to develop something radically new to their organizations.
I would always put the nonfinancial performance measures first on the agenda, followed by the financial measures, and Jerry Fishman, my boss, would switch them around. While at home in the evening, he saw a television commercial that emphasized how a certain type of candy was a combination of two different products: peanut butter and chocolate. The management innovator brings together the various elements of a problem that is, dissatisfaction with the status quo with the various elements of a solution which typically involves some inspiration from outside, plus a clear understanding of the internal situation and context.
Julian Birkinshaw' s Reinventing Management is a path- breaking book. Management is a central driver of economic activity, and arguably even more important in today' s economic climate than ever.
Adam Grant, organizational psychologist at The Wharton School, argues that individuals and companies alike can benefit from having rivals. Focusing on thechoices individual employees make every day in getting work done, this book reinvents the practice of management one employee at atime. Reinventing Management book. Reinventing Management and Giant Steps in Management, and more than He is the author of four books on management.
Management has lost its way and leaders need to re- learn how to do their jobs - that' s why Julian Birkinshaw, fresh no- nonsense thinker and Professor at the London Business School is taking management back to first principles.
There is a large cost associated with the problem of corporate complexity, and this problem is getting worse. Ships from and sold by Amazon. There is a large cost associated with the problem of corporate complexity, and this problem is getting worse. Your Management Model can only become a source of advantage if you find ways of working that separate you out from the crowd. He is a leading authority on disruption and renewal in large established firms, and he consults to executives around the world on these issues.
Julian' s most recent book Reinventing Management. He has studied sports and business rivalries and believes they often add up to more than just zero- sum competition. Professor Julian Birkinshaw was ranked 46th in the Thinkers50 list of the top global management thinkers. Julian Birkinshaw' s new book, Reinventing Management, belongs in the Drucker category. Reinventing Management and Giant Steps in Management, and more than I currently serve as the Chair of the Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship.
He has published thirteen books including Reinventing Management and. Keynote by Speaker Julian Birkinshaw.Most management innovations took several years to implement, and in some cases it was impossible to say with any precision when the innovation actually took place. The book explores this territory through a variety of case studies. Julian Birkinshaw' s new book, Reinventing Management, belongs in the Drucker category.
Reinventing Management: Smarter choices for getting work done Julian Birkinshaw. The book describes how management. These cases were selected to cover a range of countries, industries and types of innovations. A critical stage in the process, then, is for the management innovators to generate validation for their new idea.
These six points are certainly not some kind of formula for management innovation. I would always put the nonfinancial performance measures first on the agenda, followed by the financial measures, and Jerry Fishman, my boss, would switch them around.
Most management innovations took several years to implement, and in some cases it was impossible to say with any precision when the innovation actually took place. Indeed, taken as a whole, the process of management innovation is probably as important to economic and social progress as technological innovation.
The management innovation process therefore had a highly interactive quality. It increases the likelihood that other companies will attempt to adopt the innovation in question, but it also increases the likelihood that the pioneer company will stick with the innovation. Adams, P. The best example of this is probably the development of activity-based costing and the Balanced Scorecard by Robert Kaplan and colleagues. In , George Black was brought in by the U. The best example of this is probably the development of activity-based costing and the Balanced Scorecard by Robert Kaplan and colleagues.
Dissatisfaction can be framed as a future threat, a current problem or a means to escape a crisis. Deming and other quality experts gave a series of lectures before the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers in the early s. The first was a much more significant role for external change agents than is usually seen in technological innovation.