Beyond Bureaucracy Challenge

Busting bureaucracy with radical management

Busting bureaucracy with radical management

To transform organizations so that they are fit for human beings--more inspiring and engaging and yet just as disciplined and even more productive--we need to understand why promising ideas for improving management developed in the 20th Century--such as teams, empowerment, delayering or innovation--failed to become a permanent part of the standard management repertoire. » Read more

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Who gets a seat at the table?

Who gets a seat at the table?

“That was a small lesson I learned on the journey. What is interesting and important happens mostly in secret, in places where there is no power. Nothing much of lasting value ever happens at the head table, held together by a familiar rhetoric. Those who already have power continue to glide along the familiar rut they have made for themselves.”
—Michael Ondaatje, The Cat's Table

Back in September I was lucky enough to participate in IBM's centennial THINK forum in New York City . The lineup included a staggering array of CEOs of the biggest, oldest, and most influential companies in the world, several heads of state (on loan from the General Assembly sessions at the UN across town), and a handful of boldface journalists and thought leaders. For all of the power on display in that room, the real topic of the moment was insurrection. » Read more

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What's your question?

What's your question?

Some fifteen years ago, in the early days of starting up Fast Company magazine, co-founder Alan Webber, shared one of his rules of thumb with me: "a good question beats a good answer." That pithy wisdom sunk in and took hold immediately. In the course of hundreds of reporting journeys and thousands of conversations with leaders, entrepreneurs, thinkers, and doers of all stripes, I've tuned into the questions people ask.

The first thing you notice when you have your ears pricked for questions is that most people (especially businesspeople) are more interested in presenting solutions, making assertions, and sharing their vision. This isn't surprising. School programs us to focus on producing the right answer and the job description of the leader for the last century has basically been "the person with all the answers." » Read more

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