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Newsletter of July 5, 2010

Why Great KM Programs Fail

When I was young and even more naive than I am today, I used to believe that if you did good work, it would get recognition. If you did something that made a contribution and were able to prove it with hard numbers, rational people would inevitably recognize your success. I was therefore somewhat surprised when I found that most of the great knowledge management programs that I observed in organizations were eventually closed down, sidelined and shifted to the periphery. The managements of these organizations didn't seem to appreciate great KM accomplishments right in front of their noses. To find out why, go here.

What HBR won't say: Why business process reengineering failed

It's not a new idea that there is something very wrong with the traditional management that is practiced in most established organizations. In 1993, Michael Hammer and James Champy wrote that American companies had become "bloated, clumsy, rigid, sluggish, non-competitive, uncreative, inefficient, disdainful of customer need and losing money." Even then, it was clear that traditional management needed to be replaced by something different. But what? In 1993, traditional management jumped on the bandwagon known as business process reengineering (BPR). It didn't work, but you'd never learn this from reading HBR. To find out why, go here.

Four reasons why management needs radical change

A peculiar feature of the traditional managerial discourse of the kind that you find in any issue of Harvard Business Review is the unspoken assumption of its inevitability. It is as though the practices of traditional management-hierarchy, command-and-control, tightly planned work, competition through economies of scale and cost reduction, impersonal communications-reflect timeless truths of the universe, so obvious that there is scarcely any need to articulate them, let alone re-examine them. In reality, these managerial practices arose as a response to a specific set of social and economic conditions. Now that those conditions have changed in four major ways, traditional management doesn't fit. To find out what those changes are (again, something you won't find in HBR), go here.

Steve Denning on YouTube

I've just put a couple of videos on YouTube. Hope you enjoy them. One is a video about radical management, which you can view here.

The second is a video giving feedback from people who have explored radical management. Watch it here.

Attention all training directors: Special offer: The Ten-Pack

What's the transformation of your organization worth? What if you could inspire 10 key people in a four week training program in transformational leadership and management for just a tiny sliver of your organization's training budget? If transforming your organization for a tiny price is of interest, then you might want to explore this special offer: the ten-pack for US$2,500 for the 4-week event: October 15 to November 9, 2010: Making Radical Management Happen. This includes places for ten participants at just $250 each and your own dialogue space. More details here.


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