I read an amazing interview with Gary Hamel and Lowell Bryan yesterday. It was one of those articles where I was constantly saying to myself things like: exactly!, that’s amazing!, thats exactly what I said to _______!, etc.
Reading it made me really excited. So much so that I immediately started talking to, and calling friends of mine, probably babbling because I was so taken up by it. I sat at home last night reading parts of the interview to my wife as we sat trying to relax in our living room.
It made me really excited because this is something I am very passionate about. It’s something that I have very strong feelings about, and in this interview I saw my own passions and positions clearly shared by others that are truly thought leaders in the space of management.
Innovative Management: A conversation with Gary Hamel and Lowell Bryan
Please, take the time to read this interview and share with me your thoughts. If you aren’t a member at the McKinsey Quarterly this is more than enough reason to join. (IT’S FREE!)
The basic premise of the discussion is that there is an ever growing need for a new managerial model, that merits the gifts of creativity, passion, and initiative and leverages those gifts in each and every employee.
Here’s just a small sample:
“In terms of managing creative-thinking people, you have to separate the work of managing from the notion of managers as a distinct and privileged class of employees. Highly talented people don’t need, and are unlikely to put up with, an overtly hierarchical management model.
Increasingly, the work of management won’t be done by managers. It will be pushed out to the periphery. It will be embedded in systems. I think we’re on the verge of what I would call a postmanagerial society. The idea that you mobilize human labor through a hierarchy of overseers and bureaucrats and administrators is going to look extraordinarily antiquated a decade or two from now.”
Also, if you haven’t read my post from a few months back entitled: Creating a Culture of Innovation: The SANE Approach, I’m sure you will see many parallels.
John Moore posted a great overview of Gary Hamel’s new book, The Future of Management.
Tory Gattis of OpenTeams also posted some additional excerpts from the interview here as well.
I recently started using Basecamp, and I must say it’s really a great tool. Simple by design, it has everything you need and nothing you don’t.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with it, Basecamp is a collaboration tool created by 37Signals. It was originally created to manage their own internal projects, and then became the incredibly popular collaboration tool that it is today.
It is designed to be a simple and easy to use tool that allows teams to organize information related to things (projects) they are working on together.
Like any application however, it can be the greatest thing in the world, but if it is not used properly it won’t provide you with any benefit.
Here are some basic guidelines that I came up with, to ensure that you use Basecamp (or really most of the collaboration tools out there) most effectively:
1) Use it – Everyone on your team should commit to using it. The sooner the better. The more everyone gets used to working in Basecamp to collaborate, the quicker it will become second nature.
2) Input things that are related to a project in Basecamp, rather than sending an email – Messages can be created, and everyone will be notified by email anyway. The benefit over simply sending an email to everyone is that the message, along with all the responses, comments, etc, now lives next to all of the other messages, files, tasks, etc, related to that project.
It brings clarity to the process.
3) Create writeboards for documents that are being reviewed and revised to ensure that you don’t have multiple versions of the documents content – This also allows everyone involved to quickly and easily make revisions and comments. The system will automatically keep track of the versions, and allow you to compare different versions at any time.
4) Create milestones first then to-dos – Milestones are deliverables, or tasks which have a due date. Many times milestones have a number of items (to-dos) that need to happen, leading up to them, so by creating the milestones first, you can then relate the to-do lists to the appropriate milestones.
These guidelines are very basic and simple (in keeping with the essence of what Basecamp is intended to be), but provide a good foundation for helping to define ones own process for using a tool such as Basecamp effectively.