The article reports on anti-hierarchical approaches to managing work outside the U.S. and independent of software development as evidenced in presentations at the November Drucker Forum by the French group, Vinci and the Chinese group, Haier.
The article looks at how radical innovations in organization structure, management processes and mindsets are being adopted by companies seeking the rapid-paced, customer-focused continuous innovation needed to survive in today’s dynamic marketplaces. These approaches are spreading throughout many established organizations. For traditionally managed hierarchical organizations, the transformation often involves radical shifts in power, attitudes, values, mindsets, ways of thinking and ways of interacting with stakeholders—customers, employee talent, shareholders and partners.
The Vinci Group is organized with 3,500 business units, so that there are in effect 3,500 entrepreneurs, all intent on developing good ideas. The Haier Groups has transformed its organization into a flat platform with thousands of micro-enterprises. There are no more than eight people in each one.
The Haier platform enables the microenterprises to interact closely and intensively with users, allowing them to participate in the development and production process. The goal is to align Haier’s people and the value they can create for customer users. The need is to unleash people’s potential so as to maximize value to users.
The article reveals that when companies disrupt the traditional “efficiency-based” organizational structure the do so in unique ways. Typical of the homegrown approach to post-bureaucratic organizations, Zhang Ruimin, CEO of Haier, pioneered a management model called “Rendanheyl,” which entails three disruptions: disrupting employees, disrupting organizational structures and disrupting compensation structures.
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