That’s how the idea of Management 3.0 came up a few years ago. Theorized by Jurgen Appelo (http://jurgenappelo.com/about/), its ambition is to bring back the energy and happiness of people at work for their benefits and the organization’s benefit, and turn the whole organization agile by transforming the way management is done, and thus transforming the role of managers, turning them more in a coaching position than a “command and control” position. In a world of uncertainty and accelerated disruptions, the key for companies to survive is to adapt rapidly. The principle of Management 3.0 is that, not matter how efficient your processes are, no matter how strong your production systems are, a pyramid organization structure is bound to fail if the outside environment is constantly changing at a fast pace: top management or middle management become the bottleneck of decisions, employees lose their engagement by having the feeling that decisions keep changing all the time without knowing why, execution of a given decision is outdated by the time it has reached the lower level and started to be implemented, etc… This poses a challenge to the whole organization, and especially to managers, where the “command and control” posture at all levels turns out to be counter-productive. Management 3.0 was thus developed along with a whole set of tools and behaviors, starting from the managers, to become as agile and flexible as an Octopus. Hence the picture you may already have seen, featuring everything a manager of the future should be capable of… Well, if you see the not so attractive picture, you may wonder if you still really want to become a manager :).
All these changes in behavior don’t come naturally, it also depends on each manager’s personality and on his/her representation of powership. Training managers in courses like Management 3.0 is a must, and ideally this training may be followed with coaching of a group of them whose actions may bring an impact. Typically, a group of Directors, coached on a one-year term, taking one day per month to share and work on concrete management issues together with a coach is a formula I found really powerful when being part of it myself.
For people who may want to go at an even higher level, I strongly recommend reading the excellent book “Freedom Inc” (http://freedomincbook.com,) describing the concept of “liberating companies” with concrete examples in different industries and how the companies which succeeded manage to perform over their market through time. Another very useful and pragmatic book is “The Leader’s Guide” by Eric Ries, which is a return on experience of many leaders and companies which took the path to apply lean startup principles in their companies to go beyond the theory (and misleading shortcuts).