Global Management Warming Starts in Switzerland

At the Stoos Gathering we will discuss how to accelerate change in management and organizational transformation.

W. Edwards Deming wrote decades ago that bonuses are bad for business. But most managers around the world are still using them.

Peter F. Drucker said ages ago that knowledge workers cannot be subordinates of managers. But managers still pretend they are superiors.

Research tells us again and again that performance appraisals don’t work. But many managers keep relying on them as their primary evaluation technique.

Why?

Why is management so cold?

Why is management changing so slowly?

Agile has revolutionized software development around the world in a matter of 10 years. Granted, we’re not done yet. But we’ve made significant progress.

However, it seems the Arctic Ocean will have melted before we see traditional management being replaced with a new paradigm. The rate at which it happens now is certainly not the same rate as the adoption of Scrum and Kanban.

Is it too slow? Yes!!

Can we heat it up? Well, let’s talk about that…

The Stoos Gathering

StoosSteve Denning (Radical Management), Jurgen Appelo (Management 3.0), Franz Röösli (The Leader’s Dilemma) and Peter Stevens (Scrum Breakfast) are bringing together a group of 20 thought leaders idea farmers from around the world in Agile & Lean leadership. It will be a 2-day gathering in Stoos Switzerland on January 6-7, 2012. Our goal is to discuss how to accelerate the transformation of management around the world.

“We are looking to energize organizations in ways that make them better for the organizations themselves, better for the people doing the work, better for those for whom the work is being done, and better for society as a whole. And we want to understand how we can speed it up!”

Ideas for improving organizations have been around for decades. And yet, very little has happened. Change in business management is happening at a glacier pace. Can we help accelerate the transformation of the way organizations are run? Can we heat things up? Is there something that everyone can subscribe to and that will energize the movement for global change?

Probably not another manifesto.

Certainly not another alliance!

But something else?

Help us prepare!

AvalancheWe are looking for your thoughts on how to energize and catalyze a global movement for organizational transformation. We recognize that all thought leaders idea farmers have their own brands and flavors of management, but at the same time we see all our efforts as part of something larger.

Something global.

Something warmer.

Can you help us?

Please give us your input, in LESS THAN 100 WORDS, here on my blog, or on Steve’s blog, or on Peter’s blog, or via email. We will make sure your information is prominently radiated during the discussions in Stoos. Help us to stimulate our brains and contribute to a positive outcome of the Stoos Gathering.

Let’s generate some global management warming!

We will keep you informed…

p.s. There is no need to ask for invitations. The list of committed attendees will be published soon.

(Photos: Erik AbderhaldenJoeri Cornille, Paul Downey)

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  • http://hasschapman.blogspot.com Hass Chapman

    Great initiative!
    I think we have to create a grass-roots movement (like Agile in the first place) that spreads this research. Targeted groups can be used to accelerate the propagation of ideas (e.g. IT and Management consulting companies). But to make this more accessible we need a heading to hang all of this on. I personally like the Management 3.0 title. It is easy, catchy and summarizes what we are talking about (management and a next level of knowledge). We should also separately target CEOs and CIOs/CTOs as they also have the power to introduce radical change.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/flowchainsensei Flowchainsensei

    Great idea! An impossible challenge, or just a very difficult one?
    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead
    I have worked on this thorny question for the best part of fifteen years now. The issues I note include:
    o People do not see the problem (nor its magnitude)
    o When people do see the problem they do not feel ownership of it.
    o When (if) they take ownership of the problem, they do not commit to action on it.
    (By people, I mean not just managers, but more relevantly, employees – and wider society as a whole, too).
    My own adopted solution is, as you may know, an education campaign centred around Rightshifting and the Marshall Model. This is founded in coaching theory, and in particular, GROW (cf Sir John Whitmore).
    o Goals – Encourage people to articular their goals (future effectiveness)
    o Reality – Invite people to consider where they are now (present effectiveness)
    o Options – Solicit (and present) options on how to proceed
    o Will – Ask people to commit to specific actions to realise their goals
    Lots more info on my blog: http://flowchainsensei.amplify.com
    HTH
    – Bob @FlowchainSensei

  • http://profile.typepad.com/flowchainsensei Flowchainsensei

    In the same way that I don’t think many folks expect bankers to solve the problems with the world’s banking system, I don’t think we should expect management to solve the problems with the world’s management system.
    Targeting CEOs and CIOs/CTOs offers little in the way of traction, imo, even though at first glance it might seem like “common sense”.
    “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” ~ Einstein
    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.” ~ Upton Sinclair
    (Applies to management and consultants, both).
    Note also that Prof. Hamel uses the term “Management 2.0” – some scope for confusion there?
    Cheers,
    – Bob @FlowchainSensei

  • http://deborahpreuss.com Deborah Hartmann Preuss

    I propose we Dance “Global Management Warming” (see vnd.youtube:UlDWRZ7IYqw )
    Thanks, Jurgen for this awesome metaphor, and Yves for 2 tweets that made this exciting connection for me!
    Let’s continue crowd-sourcing the shift we want to be. All of us is smarter than any of us.
    This glacial pace of change is killing us. We need this shift at crowd-speed.

  • http://www.rinivansolingen.nl @solingen

    Good initiative! Inspire and include: pulling feedback/learning forward is obligatory, you always learn more from doing than from thinking, unagreed postponement of delivering value is a crime, difficult and complex questions/challenges need to be answered/solved by a group of people, while difficult and complex decisions need to be made by one knowledgable individual.
    Flat world management
    Good luck in Stoos; wishing you all the energy and inspiration you need.
    One thing. Please don’t come back from your mountain with a manifesto 😉

  • http://profile.typepad.com/hammingway Hammingway

    Happy to hear about it, and living in Switzerland (at least during the working hours) I really appreciate the choice of location 😉
    One of the issues imo is the reluctance of capable people to join management. Partly out of fear this would be boring, mostly administrative stuff, needing MBA qualities and attitude to master. Same effect as with politics. The established system attracts people with the established mindset, effectively adding to inertia. Seeking for career options, you look at the management system and decide to join or not based on whether you like what you see. (I can see you wince when reading management “system” 😉
    So, crowd-sourcing seems a good way to start, by convincing people to take action instead of waiting for the establishment to change. “This is all wrong, and you know it, and therefore we need you to join (management) forces”.
    Cheers,
    Dirk

  • http://blog.testowka.pl streser

    To be honest – I was considering that problem couple times… There was couple discussions about it.
    When I was trying to find root cause of this problem I’ve get to … People… – People are not ready for self-organizing… When I look at bigger IT companies I can see that there is too much people, I can’t believe that there is few thousands people need to maintain sometimes very simple (from functional point of view) systems. This is the problem – you can not change couple thousands of people in short time, and when you are trying change one department the other one is going in opposite direction, when you got to this second one the first one is getting back on wrong track.
    The solution which I see is teaching – teaching everyone not just managers, start teaching at the universities – line developers and students probably one day become managers.
    Also teaching about change – convince them that they can change the world starting from themselves.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/paulboos Paul_boos

    Wow, just wow! My hats to everyone that is attending an I look forward to the ideas farmed… I’ll Mojito Mix them as much as possible!
    Bob does have a good point in that management is not incentivized (intrinsically at least) to change; given I am in the public sector, what would be beneficial is the creation of something that can influence how our elected officials want management to work. Then they can provide both explicit and implicit guidance in legislation.
    For example, here in the US, we have an annual Performance Appraisal Review System (PARS). If Congress passed an action that this needed to incorporate more human-oriented thinking into it, that would be a step in the right direction (I don’t think total elimination is realistic for years…). Or perhaps the President could have as a proposal for one Agency to replace PARS with something else.
    So that would be one area that could start having a concrete impact. Another may be focusing on designing organizational structures to better engage customers and employees collaboratively. We’re stuck in one here – hierarchical mode, because we equate growth, influence, and benefits to where you are in the pyramid and not where it is needed. Having hired people I was willing to pay more than myself and give them the freedom to just act without my permission is much, much better.
    I am looking forward to the creative results of your work in Stoos. Is it January 8th yet?
    Cheers,
    Paul

  • http://profile.typepad.com/paulboos Paul_boos

    Oh, as a PS – the more concrete recommendations people can run with as well as a target vision of where we are going so people can develop more along the way, the faster we can melt the management ice caps. That was the gist of what I was trying to say…

  • http://www.agileafricaconf.com Joel Oosthuizen

    Sounds like a great event! Keep up the good work:)

  • http://hasschapman.blogspot.com Hass Chapman

    @Flowchainsensei – I understand your arguments but see no alternative. Any real change has to be demanded from the employees. Natural selection will promote those companies that adapt faster in a time of increasing skills shortages. My targeting of CEOs etc is merely to try to accelerate the process by targeting early adopters in these groups.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/louisd2 Louis_d

    There is a lot of good vision out there. I propose to enrich the analysis of Flowchainsensei:
    o Many people DO see the problem (and have an idea of its magnitude). Reward them by visibility in a shared list “we’re in this together and share the change vision”
    o Some people who DO see the problem will take ownership of it. We need 144.000. Reward them by showing their commitment and the 144.000 growth rate.
    o Some people commit action. Reward them by showing their individual actions.
    Make it into a contest: those who achieve success early, get higher rankings.

  • http://blog.vigneron.biz Anthony Vigneron

    Hi Jurgen,
    Let’s not aim for a grand global Management Transformation Treaty; we don’t need to negotiate objectives for decades before we sign-up.
    Instead, let’s start the organisational transformation fires in each of our own little corners of the organisation, reap the benefits now and find out how to share successes so it can be copied by others.
    Visionnaries like Rypple.com have created the “systems” to make that transformation alive with social goals to align teams, recognition and focus on business priorities, unleash innovation, fast/frequent performance feedback all year long and public sharing of successes! http://bit.ly/social-goals
    They could be a great contributors for the summit, let me know if of interest! (disclosure: I’m just a big fan!)

  • http://www.koo-doy.com Sameh

    Why is management so cold?
    From my view, management addresses the HR aspect of the knowledge worker. Management is driven by the manager’s style and perceptions to navigate through the organizational politics.
    This from my view creates daunting behavior for knowledge workers.

  • http://www.thesmartworkcompany.com Anne Marie McEwan

    Some of us are just getting on with it. I am trying to set up an online business school (well eventually) for people who would not normally have the opportunity to attend a business school.
    Datar et al http://www.amazon.com/Rethinking-MBA-Business-Education-Crossroads/dp/1422131645 say that experiential learning is the new hallmark of the MBA. I have experience over a period of 10 years of developing and facilitating work-based Master’s programmes for senior executives.
    I want to build on this experience in launching The Smart Work Company’s learning communities. My new learning communities are still in development – will go for launch end of January.
    It has been a long slow slog. I think the groundswell will grow if we all support each other.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/gmantel Gmantel

    Great challenge! I will be very curious of the outcome, as this sounds like an ever lasting battle. I personnaly tend to think that new management ways cannot be introduced in classically managed organisation, they’ve gone too far in implementing perf appraisal, bonuses, hierarchy competition, … it’s in their DNA. The only successful path looks to me like creating our own companies and competing with existing businesses. I know it sounds bit like an anti-pattern of rebuilding an old app from scratch rather than refactoring it but your point is about accelerating the movement.

  • http://www.aguarra.cz Michal Vallo

    I would reframe the question “Why is management changing so slowly?” into more “How to accelerate changes in management?” Why to complain about managers who do not follow theory of some guru, be it Deming, Drucker or somebody else, if they never heard about these names and their work? I afraid solution is in education. If sufficient qualification for manager will be he was once programmer and he stayed with company longer than anyone from its peers, all effort ends up in vain. My message for Stoos Gathering initiative is in article here: http://www.agilia.cz/2011/12/management-warming-and-stoos-message.html Good luck guys and bring some inspiring ideas.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/johnnyordonez JohnnyOrdonez

    A radical change of management involves a cultural change, a new set of values, principles and behaviors. We must begin by the individuals. First, create a colective awareness about the need for change. Second: work over individual for remove old paradigms. After, define a strategy that involves components needed for reach the change: agile, knwolegde, values, people. After: try and try. After: split and grow.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/johnnyordonez JohnnyOrdonez

    A radical change of management involves a cultural change, a new set of values, principles and behaviors. We must begin by the people. First, create awareness about the need for change, diffusion. Second: work over individual for remove old paradigms. After, define a strategy that involves components needed for reach the change: agile philosophy, knwolegde, values, people. After: try and try. After:split and grow.

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