Do knowledgeworkers need a new kind of management?


images-8.jpegMost companies are still managed by what I call a post-taylorism management. Taylorism method have been improved to match today’s needs with more autonomy, more room for creativity and inovation, something more participative but it seems to be like small bubbles in a top-down managed company. These are improvements made on such or such service, with such or such manager but we can’t say a new global model was born.

Knowledgeworkers that were few years ago are now an evergrowing population in most companies. Their specificities cause different needs such as: autonomy, inovation, creativity, need for improved self-esteem. The consequence is that the “exceptions” mentionned in the previous paragaph are expected to be a norm. That’s the way to make knowledgeworkers more implicated, to take more benefit of their work. The stake is to find a way to manage this kind of people without breaking company’s cohesion.

In this situation, IT will have to take its part in the change. Because knowledgeworkers allow new ways of working such as “officeless working”, teams working from a distance, the new social practices brought by an appropriate management will have to materialize themselves on the only thing who link everybody in the company, the only place for exchanges, that’s to say the intranet. Some kind of management 2.0?
As a confirmation of this new trend, a few words about Jack Welch, named “manager of the century” by “Tribune” in 1999. His theories and his management that were considered as table of law for decades are now challenged by the same “Tribune”. Welch’s theories on management are no longer adapted to this new category of workers that is growing and growing…. Neglecting individual expectations and self developpement and keeping everything under strong control on an efficiency-only based model is not appropriate anymore. You can read more about this on Fortune.

Surely knowledgeworkers wouldn’t have been very efficient and implicated working with Mr. Welch. On the other hand Welch had a management that fitted his industry and his context. Now things are changing, a kind of new era is being born and we have to found the XXIe century’s Jack Welch, a guy with a vision adapted to the new economy and the specific skills and expectations of knowledgeworkers.
Changing all of that will be a great challenge, don’t you think?