Join Gary Hamel for an in-depth discussion in this video Change in action: Microsoft, part of Gary Hamel on Busting Bureaucracy.
- If you want to innovate anything, you have to start with users, and if we're going to reimagine management, we have to start with the users there too. Employees at every level whose lives everyday are effected by the systems and processes that tell them what they can do and what they can't do. This really struck me a few years ago when Microsoft missed a very important launch window for an update of Windows called Vista. Shortly after they missed that date, there was a web that appeared that said fire the leadership now, that's the leadership of Microsoft.
And I read that blog, and it was clearly written by somebody inside of the company, and over the next few days it attracted hundreds of comments that put together a very detailed diagnosis of what had gone wrong. Product specs that were changed too late in the development process, teams that weren't connecting together, leaders that weren't effective, and as I scan I said, this is a better organizational diagnosis than anything I've ever seen from a consultant or any internal staff group. And after just about every comment, somebody said thank goodness there's a place where we can share this.
The problem was, it was being shared outside of the firewall, not inside the company, why? Because that kind of a conversation wasn't legitimate at that time inside of Microsoft. If you want to bust bureaucracy in your organization, and particularly if you're a leader, you have to make it okay for people to challenge the status quo. You have to make it okay for people to talk about where bureaucracy is interfering with their ability to do the right thing, to make a difference, to get things done efficiently. 'Cause I can tell you for sure, that conversation is taking place, but often it's taking place on the fringes outside of the organization in ways that are not productive and not helpful, and your job is to make sure that can happen inside your organization.
- Focus your frustration
- Enroll a posse of change agents
- Build an irresistible case for change
- Learn from organizations that have conquered bureaucracy
- "Hack" the management systems in your organization
With these insights any employee can become a bureaucracy buster.
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