Posts Tagged ‘management’
Many of today’s books on the tools and techniques of leadership and management provide descriptions of long lists for use in decision-making, leading, coaching and project management. This book takes a completely different approach. It contests the claims that the tools and techniques are based on evidence and explains why human activities of leading and managing are simply not amenable to scientific proof and consequently, why long-term futures of organizations are unpredictable.
The book undertakes a critical exploration of just what these tools and techniques are about; showing that while they may lead to competent performance they cannot go further to expert performance because expertise involves going beyond rules and procedures. Ralph Stacey investigates the many questions that are thrown up as a result of this new approach. Questions such as:
- How do we apply this new way of thinking?
- What are the practical tools and techniques it gives us?
- What is the role of leaders in an unpredictable world?
- How does complexity affect the way organizations are structured and function?
The core of this conference paper is the question about the possibilities of homo creativus in the contexts of organisational psychology, education, management and science and technology parks. There is an urgent need for implementing new approaches to the world of science parks. In historical terms we are implementing the third generation of science parks (3GSP). The future challenge for science and technology parks is increasingly the development of various creative environments and Serendipity Management principles.
Serendipity Management is a vital part of a new management paradigm, which aims towards creating favourable environments and situations by utilising the creative resources most effectively. A practical case example is the netWork Oasis environment, opened in December 2006 at the Joensuu Science Park. In the netWork Oasis the focus of the concept design activities, in addition to the serendipity principle, has been maximising the support for tomorrow’s knowledge work and creativity.
The perspective of network science views knowledge as socially created and socially re-created not as stuff of the mind that can be shared and stored by individuals. Knowing is a process of relating. From the network-based, relational perspective knowing is viewed as an ongoing and, never-ending process of making meaning in communication.
The potential of social media cannot be realized without a very different epistemological grounding, a relational perspective. Independently existing people and things then become viewed as co-constructed in coordinated networked action. Accordingly, the role of management is different, opening up new possibilities: power in networks is about “power to” or “power with”, and not “power over”.
At the center of the company’s design for work is a mechanism that produces a dynamic sort of order. It’s called the “Colleague Letter of Understanding” (or CLOU, pronounced “clew”), a contract in which each individual defines his or her personal mission (and how it relates to the organizational mission), work commitments, key activities, and success metrics–all negotiated with ten or twelve core colleagues (called CLOU colleagues). The CLOUs are available online to everyone in the company, they can be updated at will, and are embedded in a social network that includes a real-time feed of real-time performance data, CLOU colleague activities, and peer feedback.
The result is a live map of the enterprise–a dynamic network of peer-defined interdependencies that define the org chart (rather than the other way around). Instead of hewing uncomfortably to a rigid, top-down hierarchy, the CLOU system allows Morning Star‘s colleagues to operate in a “natural” hierarchy based on expertise, achievements, and accountability. People don’t move “up” at Morning Star, they grow in respect and responsibility (and compensation) based on their contribution.
In 50 years of research from Nepal to Kenya to Switzerland to Los Angeles, she has shown that commonly held resources will not be destroyed by overuse if there is a system in place to manage how they are shared.
How such systems work around the world was the topic of Ostrom’s keynote address at Minneapolis’ Festival of the Commons at Augsburg College Oct. 7—co-sponsored by On the Commons, Augsburg College’s Sabo Center for Citizenship and Learning and The Center for Democracy and Citizenship.
Ostrom explained there is no magic formula for commons management. “Government, private or community,” she said, “work in some settings and fail in others.”
There is a growing popular literature on chaos and complexity authored by scientists of high reputation writing about research fields in which they are themselves active. There is also a burgeoning literature which draws on this work to address management concerns and practices, but whose authors are experienced in management and management education rather than in the substantive scientific fields whose findings they report and interpret. I shall refer to this arena as ‘management complexity’. There is some evidence of managerial take-up of ‘complexity’ as a framework for informing organisational practice. This is still at an early stage, and take-up may or may not lead to take-off. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to a discussion of the validity and significance of these ideas for the management of organisations. The type of questions which I shall at least be raising are: what failings in current management theory or practice are claimed to be corrected? how novel are the management prescriptions which are derived from complexity theory? how plausible? does complexity theory provide scientific authority for these prescriptions? I will first provide the briefest of overviews of the subject matter of chaos and complexity theory, followed by an outline of the ways in which they have been applied to the field of management. I will then move to an exploration of the substantive conclusions for management drawn from this theory, before examining the validity of basing such conclusions on scientific findings from a remote disciplinary area.
The research project investigated a national sample of schools which had improved pupil learning outcomes over at least three consecutive years under the leadership of the same headteacher. It included a literature review and surveys completed by the heads and a range of other stakeholders. In addition, 20 case studies of primary and secondary schools were conducted over 2 years. The research found that leaders of successful schools define success not only in terms of test and examination results, but also in terms of personal and social outcomes, pupil and staff motivation, engagement and wellbeing, the quality of teaching and learning and the school’s contribution to the community.