Management Week in Review for March 4, 2011

Note from Art: every week, I share three thought-provoking management posts for the week. Fair warning: I take a broad view of management, so my selections will range from leadership to innovation to finance and personal development and beyond.

This week’s selections feature content on reinventing management, the strategic and practical implications of upgrade plans for consumer electronics products and some guidance on improving our decision-making by better utilizing outside advisors. Enjoy!

From Gary Hamel’s Management 2.0 blog at the WSJ, “Inventing Management 2.0.” I’m making up for lost time by having missed this mid-February post. Dr. Hamel consistently beats the drums on the need for a revolution in the practice of management, and both his article and the comments here are guaranteed to get the blood of practitioners and students of management pumping a bit faster.

From the post: “Like millions of other would-be leaders around the world, you are being held hostage by Management 1.0—a dense matrix of bureaucratic practices that were invented to minimize variances from plan by maximizing adherence to policy. Despite a lot of high-minded rhetoric to the contrary (often found on laminated cards that begin with “Our Values”), the management model found in your organization most likely over-weights the views of senior executives, undervalues unconventional thinking, discourages full transparency, deters initiative, frustrates experimentation and encourages an entirely unwarranted reverence for precedence.”

From Joshua Gans at the HBR Blogs, “Best Buy’s Buy Back.” Who hasn’t felt the slight (or major) buyer’s remorse as your still new technology gadget is rendered obsolete by the market with a seemingly overnight feature upgrade. Of course, your device still works, and it still offers the same features that excited you when you purchased it in the first place. Enter an interesting discussion and a controversial approach on dealing with this, courtesy of the mega-retailer, Best Buy. And somehow, Apple figures into this mix as well. Good discussion with personal and corporate strategic implications.

From the post: “The strategic question is why Apple doesn’t solve this and work out a hard-headed way to buy hearts. Unlike Best Buy, who has to try their hand at high-priced insurance because they are operating in a highly competitive environment, Apple has some market power, particularly over serial upgraders. Why can’t I subscribe to a plan that allows me to have the latest iPhone? Or, perhaps a cleaner example (free of AT&T and Verizon contracts), to the latest iPad?”

At Fast Company Expert Blogs, Robert Sutton, Ph.D., offers: “Report: We are More Creative When We Help Others, Not Ourselves. Bob Sutton (Good Boss, Bad Boss) shares some of the findings from recent studies on decision-making and the power of outside advisors. An interesting reminder that by nature, we tend to over-estimate our own capabilities by a considerable margin, setting the stage for all sorts of follow-on problems.

From the post: “The implication of these diverse studies are quite instructive. If we want to make better decisions, make faster decisions, have a more realistic picture of our strengths and weaknesses, and now, apparently, be more creative, we need to ask others for their opinions and assistance. There is even a kind of weird implication that rather than working on our own problems, we should always be working on others.”

That’s it for this week’s update. Enjoy your reading and don’t forget to catch up on the latest Leadership Caffeine posts here at Management Excellence.

Art Petty coaches and trains emerging leaders and consults with B2B firms on strategy and marketing. You can reach Art via e-mail to discuss your needs for coaching, speaking or consulting.

Comments

  1. For an interesting counterbalance to the Best Buy article, check out: http://bit.ly/h3iR20

  2. Casey Bisard says:

    Thank you for posting the article by Sutton – it was a great read. I completely agree with him that everyone and every business needs to have a mentor to give an outside view of what we are doing wrong and what we need to change. The biggest challenge I see is finding the correct mentor that won’t lead you down the wrong path or cause you to make mistakes.

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