Absolutely Self-Managed Workers

Why not get rid of management entirely? That was the thesis of Doug Kirkpatrick’s talk at the Building Business Capability conference this week about the Morning Star Company, a company which has tried the radical approach of being entirely flat, and having no managers are all.  Far from failing, they have become the largest company in their domain (tomato processing).  In Dec 2011, Harvard Business Review called them the world’s most creatively managed company. Continue reading

Do Management Gurus Encourage Process Enforcement?

As part of the research for the last keynote I gave, I wanted to see how well known management gurus recommend supporting knowledge workers to be more effective.  What I found was surprising and well understood at the same time. Continue reading

AdaptiveCM 2013 PC Co-chairs Message

The sign of our time is the amazing speed with which changes in the business world happen. This requires from the enterprises of today, and even more of the future to become agile, e.g. capable of adjusting themselves to changes in the surrounding world. Continue reading

Case Management gets Personal for Healthcare

Providing care for a child with special needs, or an aging parent, can be a treadmill of challenges.  Often many family members are willing to help out, but are unable to coordinate effectively.  Introduced months ago in a post “ACM for Home Medical Caregivers” today I update this with more about how the technique of adaptive case management fits well with the challenge of coordinating care for a loved one. Continue reading

Slidecast on Antifragile Systems, Innovation, and Learning Organizations

Here is a slidecast version of the talk I gave at BPM Next in March.  In 14 minutes it explains the core ideas of antifragility and how learning organizations are antifragile.  Mixed in are some surprising details about adaptive systems.  This presentation will help explain why a traditional model-and-automate approach is the wrong thing for an innovative, learning organization. Continue reading

Is Micromanagement a necessary part of BPM?

This tidbit of advice (in a list among others) was sent around to managers at my company recently:

Stop micromanaging. Micromanagement is a sign of mistrust. You hired them for a reason. If you don’t trust they will get the job done then by all means, either find people who you think will, or leave them alone to do their jobs.

This is good advice for almost all teams, and certainly for knowledge workers.  But isn’t micromanagement exactly what BPM is all about?  Maybe, maybe not. Continue reading

“Pull” Systems are Antifragile

John Hagel wrote a good review of Nassim Taleb’s book “Antifragile“.    Hagel’s book “The Power of Pull” describes a shift in the world from push systems to pull systems.  The push system is the epitome of formalize, automated systems.  The kind of system that was designed by someone with what I call “enlightenment bias”.  They attempt to anticipate everything that might happen, and provide well considered options for it. Continue reading