You would think management is going through a bit of a revolution. More recent books like Hacking Work by Bill Jensen and Josh Klein, The New Normal by Peter Hinssen and Employees First, Customers Second by Vineet Nayar are sure indicators of a new way of thinking about how we should organise a business.
In What Matters Now by Gary Hamel, we are starting to get a better understanding of not only the need for change but also a sense of urgency. Now is the word.
Can you afford not to change?
In a world of relentless change, ferocious competition and unstoppable innovation, can you afford a centralised approach to decision-making? Can you afford bureaucracy? Can you afford decision-making that takes months, sometimes years? Can you afford to miss the weak signals from the marketplace? Can you afford for half of your staff to not be really engaged?
Can you afford not to be fluffy?
In a world of extreme transparency where the power is back with the people (read customers and staff), can you afford treating staff and customers as commodities? Can you afford not to work on loyalty and long-term relationships? Can you afford not to work on branding that is actually heartfelt and based on passion and values? Can you afford not to have a moral compass?
Can you afford greed, indifference, and incompetence?
Do you think the world can afford or will accept another economic crisis that was mainly caused by management and leadership losing all perspective on values, longevity, community and common good (instead we had greed, incompetence, deceit, denial, blind indifference to human cost, narcissism etc).
Centralised management got us into the current crisis and is as a result discredited. Staff, customers and society will soon no longer accept the current management practices. It is morally corrupt, it makes no sense and as an organisation you will not survive the onslaught of change that is currently taking place.
So is What Matters Now a good book? I’m not sure. Is the message important? Absolutely.
In some ways it is an extension of Hamel’s previous book, “The future of management”, but with a deeper sense of why and why now. What The 2020 Workplace is for HR, What Matters Now is for management. And that is saying something.
Which is why you should you read it. Now!
If you are an SME…
As a small and medium sized company, this is your opportunity to topple a giant. It is much easier for you to apply the principles and it should be closer to your heart. It makes good business sense too.