Management/Leadership and Change

Martyn Newman (2007) states that decade-long research has identified people's top 10 personal needs:

- great recruitment

- great induction programs

- a great boss and leadership

- great training and development

- great future and security

- great career opportunities (in and around the organisation)

- involvement in change

- appropriate reward and recognition

- great quality of work and work environment

- good communication that allows people to have influence

Management needs to understand how it can satisfy the above needs to keep its staff

Implementation of new methods of management (such as E commerce, syndication, partnering and alliance, etc) is vital in handling the challenge of change, as traditional approaches are unable to handle the challenge. Change is already a significant factor in management, and is increasingly important to the future. Constructive leadership in response to change (rather than a "knee-jerk reaction") combined with a sense of leading organisations forward can ensure that leaders actually "make it happen". One way to handle this is patching - building inherently temporary structures that allow managers to continually re-stitch their businesses to match changing market opportunities. Patching occurs when a lot of small changes are made frequently to organisational structures such as splits, additions, combinations, transfers, combining chunks of businesses and exits. The process focuses on speed and agility, and requires adaptable organisational structures to handle turbulent times. The organisational structure is continually re-mapped against shifting market opportunities. Thus patching is creating a continually shifting mix of highly focused, tightly aligned businesses that can respond to changing market opportunities. This is very different from the approach of less frequent but more dramatic organisational restructuring that is more the norm. These major changes are then 'set in concrete', despite any future change in environment


"...the organisation of the future will be virtually layerless and increasingly boundaryless, a series of information networks in which more connections and fewer people manage processes. Information will become transparent. No leader will be able to hoard the facts that once made the corner office so powerful. Most of the information a manager will need to run a business will reside on a computer screen in a "digital cockpit". It will contain every piece of real-time data, with automatic alerts spotlighting the trends requiring immediate attention. While information will be available as never before, it will always be human judgment that will make the organisation go..."

Jack Welch as quoted by Jack Welch et al, 2001

Organisational thinking is moving away from an emphasis on linear, analytical, straight-line (cause and effect), quantifiable, reductionist, mechanistic, convergent (only one best way) thinking, to a more systematic and holistic approach with divergent (more than one answer) thinking that involves the likes of action learning, double loop-learning, self-organising systems, positive and negative feedback loops, process consultation, memes, multiple intelligence, creative orientation, creative tension, destructive creativity, dialogue, governance design, scenario planning, quantum physics, ecology, instability within stability, etc such as that explained by the Chaos Theory which is a sub-set of the Complexity Adaptive Theory.


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