In this first of a three-part series, we explore the evolution of Management For Opportunity. How did "manager" become a dirty word?
New technological eras invariably create new managerial eras. Enterprise 2.0 is no different. In this three-part series, I will argue that E 2.0 organizational technology leads to a management model I will call "Management For Opportunity," a model that exposes managers to market risks in unprecedented ways. This model is contrary to the popular emerging idea that managers (especially the much hated middle managers) will become entirely obsolete.
But to get to this vision, we need to situate E 2.0 management and technology ideas within the evolutionary history of corporations.
Let's start by trying to characterize the job of the manager in the E 2.0 world. I assert that this job is to manage for opportunity (MFO), which is fundamentally a risk management role that requires E 2.0 tools to fulfill. It's the newest layer of the functional organization of the evolving managerial mind, which I visualize like so:
I've tried to capture higher- and lower-level functions in a dependency stack. You need the lower layers before you can install the higher layers. There's a chronological anomaly in that the second layer developed after the third one, but that was due to some historical peculiarities.
Let's start by tracing the evolution of the managerial mind.
The Evolution Of The Manager
Skipping lightly over a couple of centuries of early evolution, the story gets interesting with Peter Drucker, at a time when the default management culture was a layer of owner-executives on top of what you could call glorified shop-floor supervisors, whose job was to steward well-defined processes to meet objectives set by owner-managers. Call this Management By Process, or MBP.
In 1954, in a world where people management was still synonymous with MBP but operations were growing more complex, large-scale, and specialized by the year, Drucker offered an abstract principle for managing the emerging breed of information workers differently: Management By Objectives (MBO).
It was a revolutionary idea: Employees should participate in setting and monitoring their own performance goals. It was a natural consequence of selling complex products and services in a growing global market. In a way, it was a return to the high autonomy enjoyed by managers in the sprawling, flat-hierarchy railroad empires but had been slowly eroded in newer vertically integrated industries such as oil and steel.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
2017 State of IT ReportIn today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.