A terrible epidemic, writes business guru Gary Hamel in a pair of articles in Harvard Business Review, is afflicting a large part of the human race. Its name isn’t Ebola. It’s called bureaucracy.
“Strategy gets set at the top. Power trickles down. Big leaders appoint little leaders. Individuals compete for promotion. Compensation correlates with rank. Tasks are assigned. Managers assess performance. Rules tightly circumscribe discretion.
Bureaucracy “constitutes the operating system for virtually every large-scale organization on the planet. It is the unchallenged tenets of bureaucracy that disable our organizations.”
It is akin to Soviet-style centralization, gripped by“the ideology of controlism”and “is the enemy of resilience… If they are unwilling to adapt and learn, the entire organization stalls”. It’s hostile to “the irregular people with irregular ideas who create the irregular business models that generate the irregular returns,” and so “cripples organizational vitality.” It “shrinks our incentive to dream, imagine and contribute.” It causes our organizations to “remain incompetent at their core.”
“We need challenge common beliefs and ingrained interests. We need to stop pulling each other down by the tail and instead build up our ideas together.” Nilofer Merchant, a writer and entrepreneur and a lecturer at Stanford, says.
Today, technology is creating human challenges.
Today, says Nayar, “the winning formula has become: Innovative Ideas + Delivering Unique Experiences + Enabling Leadership.
Unlocking employee innovation through platforms.