Loose? Tight?

Management is evolving. Much of what we once believed about leading people has been adapted or abandoned as we learn more about neuroscience.  Leadership in the 21st century will be less about command and control and more about collaboration, respect, trust, agility and outside-the-box thinking. 

Consider these interesting and successful innovations:

At Zappos, the online retailer based in Las Vegas, all 1500 employees have created their own job titles. Employees report to teams rather than a specific manager and are encouraged to develop new skills through a badge system.

The mission of Toronto’s Centre for Social Innovation is to create, adopt and integrate new concepts, systems and practices that put people and the planet first. Their goal is for people to feel comfortable, develop relationships with others interested in public good and engage in mutually beneficial interactions.

Several companies allow employees to work on “pet projects”, most notably 3M (which Google copied).

Vacation policy at Netflix and Virgin is essentially to take as much or as little as you want.

W. L. Gore has a team-based organization where people don’t have job titles.

ROWE (Results-Only Work Environment) has become popular with predominantly younger workforces such as automotive web publisher Edmunds.com. The company motto: We don’t care where you get your work done, as long as the right work gets done.”

Some companies have gone so far as allowing employees to set their own salaries. Brazil’s Semco SA is a good example of this.

Managing boils down to this; all of us are smarter than one of us and if we do it right, adding people makes us smarter and faster and better at serving our customers.

But it doesn’t work if you don’t communicate fully or if you spend as much time watching and measuring your team as the team spends doing their work. Then you might as well do the work yourself.

The road is easier together,
Linda

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