Sunday, May 15, 2011

53/100: Gary Hamel on Technologies of Human Accomplishment

Gary Hamel is seen delivering a lecture at University of Phoenix, the American 'Virtual' University owned by the Apollo Group. His central message is clear - management has fallen in a state of disrepair and needs urgent innovation. The question, however, is whether management itself will survive another century or it would dissolve into something else. That idea is less wild than it seems: Leadership has replaced management as the favoured term for the business gurus (with notable exception of Gary Hamel and his colleague at London Business School, Julian Birkenshaw, and Henry Mintzberg). But, here, Hamel's plea to bring back the humanity to business, make employees central to the agenda of the corporation, is linked with his faith in management. Despite the HR gimmicks that passed on as management innovation for last half century, businesses have lost its identity as a social organization and have come to be seen as a money-making machine, often like a Las Vegas style Gaming Machine. This is driving work as we know it and with that, loyalties and moralities are running thin - and the respect for private businesses in the wider community, what gave the moral justification of the enormous expansion of private enterprise during the last century, is at all time low. Bringing people back at the centre of business and reinventing companies as social organizations are the only ways left to run the business as usual.

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"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."

- Theodore Roosevelt

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We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
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- T S Eliot

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