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If you feel your management style is getting old and tired, it probably is.
At the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Santa Clara, California, there was a lot of discussion as to how to innovate management styles.
One person that's been very involved in this discussion is Michele Zanini, Managing Director and Co-Founder of the Management Innovation eXchange, a.k.a. MIX. The MIX is a crowdsourcing platform aimed at reinventing the future of management, explained Zanini.
I asked Zanini if he could offer up some interesting unusual and creative management examples. Here are two.
Strategic planning from the bottom up
Traditionally, strategically planning is done by a few experts, be they consultants or executives, and that information is disseminated down to the masses to carry out the plan. The problem with such a management style is it doesn't imbue any sense of ownership.
Open source distributor RedHat tried to reverse the strategic planning model. Instead of the top-down method and relying on the wisdom of the few, they went bottom-up asking for input from everyone in the company. The result is they got employees deeply engaged with the process because they were working on their own ideas rather than just being told what to do.
Smart Service Desk
HCL Technologies took the support model of the IT help desk and rolled it out to all functions within the company. Got a problem with the CEO? Issue a ticket. Got an issue with HR? Issue a ticket. This reversed accountability made managers accountable to people on the front line, like sales people, who have to deal with customer issues day to day.
If your problem isn't resolved in a given time frame using the "Smart Service Desk" it's escalated. This method allowed people to have a voice. At the beginning it was a little overwhelming as there were more than 30,000 tickets in just one month. But that allowed management to find problems and resolve them. As a result the number of tickets dropped dramatically and they became far more effective as a company.
“You get into this paradox of ‘I can’t find the talent I’m looking for yet I don’t want to risk investing training into that talent to develop them because they might end up going to our competitor,’” explained Mark Bennett, Product strategy director for Oracle Fusion Network at Work and Oracle Fusion Profile management
This fear is holding many managers back, said Bennett during our discussion at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Santa Clara, California.
The companies that move past that simply learn to manage the risk, said Bennett. You have to take risks to get benefits. Invest a little, see how it works. If good, invest a little more.
Here are some techniques Bennett recommends:
Invest a little at a time: Instead of putting all your investment at once into one individual, do a little investment and see how they respond in terms of improved response and engagement.
Share the risk: Have the person invest additional time to show that they’re committed to