Categorized | Featured, Management

WSJ on Management’s Dirty Secret

In Gary Hamel’s Management 2.0 Blog, Hamel recently posted a pretty scathing review of management’s role in engaging employees. The Global Workforce Survey, conducting by Towers Perrin, an HR consultancy, sought to find how workers from all over the world feel about getting up everyday and going to their job.

The report found that only 21% of workers were truly engaged to their jobs and about 38% were completely disengaged.

From a cynical perspective, this shouldn’t surprise anyone.  In a down economy, people stay in jobs that they don’t love because the option of moving somewhere else simply isn’t there.  If you really want to get cynical, you could say that managers know this and are less concerned about keeping people happy.

Hamel has another view: low levels of employee engagement make companies not only less productive — it makes companies less competitive.

From the blog:

In a world of commoditized knowledge, the returns go to the companies who can produce non-standard knowledge. Success here is measured by profit per employee, adjusted for capital intensity.

What does that have to do with employee engagement.  A lot, claims Hamel:

  • In every industry, there are huge swathes of critical knowledge that have been commoditized—and what hasn’t yet been commoditized soon will be.
  • Given that, we have to wave goodbye to the “knowledge economy” and say hello to the “creative economy.”
  • What matters today is how fast a company can generate new insights and build new knowledge—of the sort that enhances customer value.
  • To escape the curse of commoditization, a company has to be a game-changer, and that requires employees who are proactive, inventive and zealous.
  • Problem is, you can’t command people to be enthusiastic, creative and passionate.
  • These critical ingredients for success in the creative economy are gifts that people will bring to work each day only if they’re truly engaged. (Eric Raymond made this point way back in 2001 when he argued that in the new economy, “enjoyment predicts productivity.”)

Basically, we have moved from an information/knowledge economy to a creative economy.  Knowledge in how to do something is less important than what to do with that knowledge and technology.

Of course, the post relies heavily on the iPhone example.  Why is it that we always rely on Apple for the “How to do it right…” example?  Is it a cliche or is it just true?

Read the complete post here: Link

And let us know what you think?  Is Hamel right? Wrong?  Both?

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Tim McPherson

By Tim McPherson

Tim McPherson, President and COO for Nesco Resource, has over 27 years of experience in all facets of the Staffing Services Industry.

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