Noel Posus, global director of Incredible Awareness, is willing to bet that Management 2.0 is going to look a lot like Web 2.0.
Most of us grew up in a “post-industrial” society, Posus says. We are now on the verge of a post-managerial society, perhaps even a post-organizational society. This is not to imply a future without managers, he says. Just as the coming of the knowledge economy didn’t wipe out heavy industry, so the dawning of a post-managerial society won’t produce a world free of executives and administrators. Yet it does herald a future in which the work of managing will be performed less and less by “managers”.
“To be sure, activities will still need to be coordinated, individual efforts aligned, objectives decided upon, knowledge disseminated, and resources allocated, but increasingly this work will be distributed out to the periphery,” Posus says.
“While Management 2.0 won’t completely supplant Management 1.0, the two versions aren’t entirely compatible. There are going to be conflicts. Indeed, I think the most bruising contests in the new millennium won’t be fought along the lines that separate one competitor or business ecosystem from another, but will be fought along the lines that separate those who wish to preserve the privileges and power of the bureaucratic class from those who hope to build less structured and less tightly managed organizations. Richard Florida sees the same battle shaping up. In The Rise of the Creative Class, he puts it bluntly: ‘The biggest issue at stake in this emerging age is the ongoing tension between creativity and organization.’ This is, perhaps, the most critical and intractable management trade-off of all, and therefore, the one most worthy of inspired innovation.
“It will take more than advances in technology to usher in the post-managerial age. As I noted earlier, management and organizational innovation often lags far behind technological innovation. Right now, your company has 21st-century Internet-enabled business processes, mid-20th-century management processes, all built atop 19th-century management principles.”
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