Hacking HR to Build an Adaptability Advantage

julian-birkinshaw's picture

Ossified management processes

We get things done in big firms through management processes –budgeting and planning, performance management, succession planning. These processes create simplicity and order, but they also become entrenched and self-reinforcing. One example: I was asked to put on a webinar for a big publishing company a couple of years ago, and they asked me sign a twenty-page contract for the right to talk about my research for an hour.  The reason wasn’t hard to fathom - their antediluvian book-publishing process was running on autopilot, and doing its best to suck the life out of any new Web-based initiatives being proposed.  What’s the solution here? First, identify and kill off the processes that no longer add any value. Second, pilot all new initiatives outside the existing processes.

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