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Management 3.0 and the Printing / Document Industry: the Y generation

1st part available here.

The Millennials (or Y generation) entered the work force significantly as from 2005 and asked WHY?

These newcomers wanted to understand why they should do something! They rapidly owned a device named a Smartphone (At Innocherche, we call it an intellectual orthosis TM, an orthosis being a device that corrects something malfunctioning) that had all the networks and the knowledge of the World.

So Information was not Power anymore. Not just that, they challenged management structures and paradigms, local or global. They went as far denying the former generation its achievements, when they considered the results in wealth distribution or environmental failures.

They challenged the automation gurus by saying something like: “if you are as clever as you say, automate from order entry to manufacturing and shipping and invoicing without any human intervention. I, as a human, want to keep my freedom and initiative so please do not treat me as a robot.”

They appreciated a slogan like Google’s « no evil » which brings us back into the years where “it was forbidden to forbid” which would then create a space of freedom and creativity to change things and improve the world. Let us not be naïve, and remember that even the GAFA companies (acronym for Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, with all their innovative talent, and the potential threat to more “traditional” companies, from their phenomenal success) are pretty tightly managed.


Management 3.0

We now see the first elements of management 3.0, which is the “let it happen” attitude and where management does not control but influences. One could almost call it On-Demand Management or Manager as a Service (MAAS).

To invest in new markets without a guaranteed return, it will require a great amount of trust from the shareholders. This is, or its lack of is, the root cause why 80% of existing companies are predicted to fail in their transformation. Markets are driven by Funds who require predictable returns to meet their own obligations. If in doubt, they will probably sell to average their results.

It is the men and women who compose the organisation who will achieve this transformation. A huge challenge is how to help current management change its habits, moving towards a more modern style that implies some amount of “let go” in order to allow for a strong innovation culture. Let go does not mean anarchy and individualism. Let go demands a strong trust relation with reliable people, which will have been picked carefully. But the head does not need to know everything, a certain amount of subsidiarity takes place.

Former Management was built around “delegate and control” which enabled every level up to the Board to take over if results and targets were not met. Practically, by abruptly replacing a manager, an entire trust relationship network patiently established over the years is destroyed for the sake of short-term results. This grants a huge privilege to the commitment made to shareholders…this is the market.

For the traditional investor, investing in a company is like investing in equipment that provides a predictable result. This is very far from investing in a team of people that one trusts.

On next Thursday, the 3rd and last part of this article.

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This article was written on 04 Feb 2016, and is filled under Point of View.


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