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LKCE19 Keynote Yves Morieux - Bringing Managers Back to Work


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Companies are multiplying initiatives to evolve their organization and ways of working to cope with the new challenges of competitive advantage – including how to leverage the potential of digital technologies. These efforts go by various names – Lean and Agile are the most popular, but we also hear about holacracy, the polycratic organization and exponential organizations. Beyond the name tags and labels, the real issue is a revolution in the role of management. Without this revolution, the new technologies don’t deliver on their promise, the organization just gets more complicated when the Agile paraphernalia is added on top of the structure and processes -- and productivity keeps declining while people disengage. Drawing on his contribution to the development of organization theory and his consulting work with more than 500 organizations, Yves Morieux will discuss the practical role of managers, their duties and ways to add value for the new organization to create profitable growth.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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LKCE19 Keynote Yves Morieux - Bringing Managers Back to Work

  1. 1. LKCE’19 HAMBURG - NOVEMBER 6, 2019 Yves Morieux Bringing Managers Back to Work Creating value in an age of increased complexity
  2. 2. 1 Copyright©2018byTheBostonConsultingGroup,Inc.Allrightsreserved. Two trends led to this work We analyzed the root causes of each trend and found a common driver — removing it results in simultaneous increase in productivity and engagement Source: Y. Morieux (2011), "Smart Rules: Six Ways to Get People to Solve Problems Without You", Harvard Business Review, volume 89, n°9, September: pp 78–86 The productivity crisis despite technological innovation, e.g. ICTs The engagement crisis despite "people initiatives" across the board
  3. 3. 2 Copyright©2018byTheBostonConsultingGroup,Inc.Allrightsreserved.Copyright©2018byTheBostonConsultingGroup,Inc.Allrightsreserved. Common driver: organizations respond to the new business complexity by becoming more complicated Increasing external complexity .... • Multiple and often contradictory performance requirements to satisfy e.g. speed and reliability • Increasing amount of regulations • New competition • Increasing customer expectations • New technologies • Shorter product life cycles • Traditional and new globalization ... results in dramatic increase of internal complicatedness 1955 35x increase 1982 2010 Complexity index Complicatedness index 6x increase ... addressed to maintain control ... • Cumbersome structures • Lengthy and unproductive processes • Overbearing KPIs • Numerous coordination bodies • Spreading bureaucracy • Multiple systems • … Smart simplicity Real problem is not Complexity but Complicatedness: hinders agility, innovation and productivity while disengaging people at work. Is there a smarter way to manage business complexity? Source: Y. Morieux (2011), "Smart Rules: Six Ways to Get People to Solve Problems Without You", Harvard Business Review, volume 89, n°9, September: pp 78–86
  4. 4. Copyright©2018byTheBostonConsultingGroup,Inc.Allrightsreserved. 3 Competitive advantage: Managing complexity without getting complicated Beyond the skeleton (structure, org chart, boxes…) need the right nervous system (ways of working & behaviors) Source: Y. Morieux (2011), ‘Management: a Sociological Perspective’. In: From Taylor to Today: The Multimedia Encyclopedia of Organization Theory, Erhard Friedberg (coord.), Research & Organization ++ Cooperation + Engagement + + Leadership Managerial value-added Value -adding execution Each one’s behavior increases the effectiveness of others Smart Simplicity
  5. 5. Copyright©2018byTheBostonConsultingGroup,Inc.Allrightsreserved. 4 The right way to improve productivity and performance always increases satisfaction work Symmetrically… The right way to increase satisfaction at work always improves productivity and performance Illustration of economic and organizational effect Over-consumption of resources • Time (speed to market), equipment, systems, unrewarded product complexity, inventories, stock, working capital, rework, teams, committees, extra pressure on the individual … Freeing resources for value-adding activities • Rather than using them to compensate for deficient cooperation Source: Y. Morieux (2011), “Management: a Sociological Perspective.” In: From Taylor to Today: The Multimedia Encyclopedia of Organization Theory, Erhard Friedberg (coord.), Research & Organization. Resources Cooperation
  6. 6. 5 Copyright©2018byTheBostonConsultingGroup,Inc.Allrightsreserved.Copyright©2018byTheBostonConsultingGroup,Inc.Allrightsreserved. How to change? Interventions on the context makes change faster, deeper, safer and sustainable Source: Y. Morieux (2011), “Resistance to Change or Error in Change Strategy?” In: From Taylor to Today: The Multimedia Encyclopedia of Organization Theory, Erhard Friedberg (coord.), Research & Organization Typical, yet ineffective approach Effective approach “To change what people do, change their mindsets, feelings and values” “Desired behaviors spontaneously happen when you adequately change the context. Then mindsets, values and culture will follow” Mindsets, feelings, values Context Behaviors Levers for change Context Behaviors Levers for change Mindsets, feelings, values
  7. 7. Copyright©2018byTheBostonConsultingGroup,Inc.Allrightsreserved. 6 The six principles provide guidelines to tackle the root- causes in order to create the optimal context • They are based on the state of the art in social and behavioral sciences First three principles are about enhancing autonomy, next three are about making sure autonomy is put in the service of cooperation and the common good of the company (instead of one's silo only) The spirit of "Agile" is a specific application of some of these principles • Daily stand-ups, retrospectives: #1 • Product owner: #2 • Sprints, Prototype vs. Waterfall: #4 • Co-located X-functional teams: #5 Smart Rules to change the context Managing complexity without getting complicated Source: Y. Morieux, P. Tollman (2014), Six Simple Rules: How to Manage Complexity without Getting Complicated, Boston: Harvard Business review Press Understand what your people really do • Build true understanding of their work • Understand why people do what they do • Re-cognize work Reinforce integrators • Removing some rules • Refusing escalation • Delayering Increase total quantity of power • Give all actors enough cards to play a more collective game • Create new power bases—a positive-sum game, not a zero- sum game Expand the shadow of the future • Bring the future closer by adjusting duration, frequency of feedback loops, inversion Increase reciprocity • Set rich objectives: collective output, individual input, overlapping objective • Remove the '2nd TVs', i.e. the resources that fuel dysfunctional self-sufficiency • Eliminate internal monopolies Reward those who cooperate • Make those who don’t cooperate bear the cost • "Blame is not for failure – it is for failing to help or ask for help"
  8. 8. 7 Copyright©2018byTheBostonConsultingGroup,Inc.Allrightsreserved.Copyright©2018byTheBostonConsultingGroup,Inc.Allrightsreserved. TED Talks videos by Yves Morieux, creator of Smart Simplicity®, director of the BCG Institute for Organization Select publications on Smart Simplicity To know more about Smart Simplicity® Battle-tested across industries and geographies (150+ BCG projects) “As work gets more complex, six rules to simplify” “How too many rules at work keep you from getting things done” • Top 10 TED talks 2014 • _more_complex_6_rules_to_simplify? language=en • any_rules_at_work_keep_you_from_getting_things_done 5M+ views Y. Morieux’s spotlight article on Managing Complexity “Smart Rules” The Economist's interview with Y. Morieux on the new organization Y. Morieux and P. Tollman’s book on “Six Simple Rules”, Harvard Business Review Press