The last two decades have seen the rise of ‘managerialism’(1) – the belief that management is a science, a toolbox of technical skills which can be taught and applied like a fusion between economics and engineering. The standard bearers of managerialism were the MBAs(2): “that swollen class of jargon-spewing, value-destroying financiers and consultants (who) have done more than any other group of people to create the economic misery we find ourselves in”. And that’s one of them speaking! (3)

The financial crisis has exposed the deep flaws in managerialism; in fact some commentators argue that the crisis is really, at its core, a crisis of management(4). The union movement could quite rightly have claimed “We told you so” when things imploded(5). But it all seems a bit beside the point. Quite simply put: if we are to limit the damage caused by the crisis, we need to find a better way of doing business. We need a new model for management.

With this in mind, members of the New Unionism Network have been pooling ideas and experience. In this interview we speak with Alex Twigg*, who works for the Partnership Resource Centre in New Zealand.

New Unionism Network: We’ve recently seen some spectacular failures in companies managed by Harvard MBAs. What were these people doing wrong, and is there a lesson in there for trade unions on how organisations might be managed in a better way?

Alex Twigg: The dominant metaphor that has shaped thinking about organisations is that of the machine. It’s a model straight out of Newtonian physics. We see organisational performance as the sum of independent contributions commanded by external “force”.

In the 80’s this was compounded by the rise of a professional management class — accountants who managed according to their training in profit and loss ledgers and other financial statements, rather than from an understanding of production processes.

The 80’s and 90’s were replete with organisational change initiatives like “rightsizing”, “downsizing” “re-engineering” etc… These were supposed to create efficiency based on abstractions from accounting data; setting performance targets rather than understanding the production processes of their businesses and improving these to generate greater efficiencies.

In other words, the dominant organisational paradigm determined how work was to be done according to financial accounting information. This left little else than one crude tool – cost management – to increase performance. H. Thomas Johnson(6) called this “management by results”. Workers bore the brunt of this “cost management” efficiency in the form of redundancies. In return, there is very little organisational gain. In fact John Kotter’s 1996 research, based on a self-reported survey of those leading this change, showed that 70% of these change initiatives failed to deliver their intended objectives. This was failure with a significant human cost.

New Unionism Network: So is there an alternative to this machine metaphor, and the dreaded “management by results” (which I think we’ve all experienced)?

Alex Twigg: Yes. The alternative has been around for a long while and has been expressed in different ways. It’s the metaphor of the organisation as a living system, rather than a machine. Johnson calls this alternative approach “management by means”. Our problem, in terms of our thinking about organisations, is in part due to our past success. Newtonian physics and its machine metaphor (think of a massive clock) has been the source of incredible technological advances. It fitted with and re-enforced the practices and thinking of the other organisations of scale (like the church and the army). These were around as we moved from craft-based to mass production.

Unfortunately, our thinking about organisations has not caught up with newer scientific thought. This is the world of quantum physics. This world, ‘the world upon which the world we can see is built’, doesn’t operate according to principles of Newtonian physics, such as equal cause and effect. Such laws may be true for machines, but not for living systems.

“Managing by means” requires us to focus on the relationships that deliver results, rather than the results themselves. This changes our thinking about organisational performance. It is no longer about the sum of independent contributions from separate parts of a machine. It’s about the product of complex interactions between interrelated parts of a living system. In the former, cause and effect may be a linear and equal relationship. In the latter we know this is simply not true. We know that cause and effect are the consequence of a complex dynamic of feedback loops, but we have not changed our paradigm for thinking about organisations.

Perhaps this is because the challenge of changing our model soon runs hard into the issue of power. Who has it, who needs it and who does what with it? This makes it very difficult to even start the conversation about change. You can at least conceive of controlling a linear process if you think about simple cause and effect. Locating a single source of power in a complex dynamic of feedback loops (such as those that constitute a living system) doesn’t allow for this. It also raises big questions about our assumptions of human motivation and our capacity for behaviour… behaviour that is not simply about optimising individual self-interest.

New Unionism Network: Let’s look at unions themselves, as examples of organisations. What might a relationship-centred approach mean for the way that unions operate?

Alex Twigg: I have never been employed by a union, but I’d imagine they grapple with much the same questions other organisations do. Questions such as how to survive and thrive. In the absence of a clearly articulated alternative, I would imagine that the answers union managers come up with are pretty similar to those of their counterparts in the private and public sectors – notwithstanding any fundamental differences of intent between the two sorts of organisations. So I would imagine that “management by results” is as much the dominant model for unions as it is for so many corporations. In other words, union managers focus primarily on the numbers associated with economic survival –union membership numbers becomes the primary indicator of an organiser’s performance.

New Unionism network: In my experience you’re right; in fact many unions are quite consciously directing their daily practice towards this kind of business model.

Alex Twigg: With an approach like that, data from accounting sources is used to determine how work is performed. An example in a union context might be setting performance indicators such as the number of members recruited. This would typically be based on a calculation of the subscriptions revenue required to maintain the economic viability of the union. Once established, these targets make it almost impossible for the union to be managed in any way other than the very traditional way of managing organisations. It leads to a focus on outcomes, rather than the way those outcomes are achieved.

New Unionism network: The approach doesn’t fit very well with the idea of a democratic union, does it? I couldn’t agree more. Membership is not a contract for service. Members are not clients. Organisers are not sales reps. Leaders are not entrepreneurs. It seems like the whole ‘management by results’ approach has fallen flat on its face, with the financial crisis. It certainly won’t work for membership-based groups.

Alex Twigg: No, it won’t. The predominant model for managing organisations is based on command-and-control. It is inherently undemocratic. It is a very transactional and highly-directive approach to managing organisations, and seems out of step with the “theory in use”(7) that unions articulate as their purpose. But as I indicated above, we shouldn’t be too surprised by this. Unions are simply reflecting the predominant frame of reference for how we think about organisations.

The alternative is based on principles that are far more closely-aligned to democratic principles. There are a whole host of authors and thinkers that have been writing and thinking about this, reaching all the way back to Edwards Deming(8) in the 30s. There’s work by McGregor(9) on theories of human motivation, and work by Trist and Emery(10) on socio-technical systems in the 50’s and 60’s. Then there’s more recent work by people like Peter Block, Marvin Weisbord, Peter Senge, Margaret Wheatley, H. Thomas Johnson and others(11) that have built on this earlier work, and on all the experiences of people at workplaces that have sought to apply and develop this thinking – like Ricardo Semler at SEMCO, and Taiichi Ohno as Toyota … and countless others.(12)

In my opinion, this idea of Johnson’s — ‘management by means’ — has as much to offer unions as it does to the companies whose employees they represent. It is counter-intuitive to our mainstream thinking, but it goes something like this: If we attend to the quality of the means (the relationships) that deliver the results we desire, then we simultaneously improve the quality of the ends that our organisations deliver as well as lowering the cost of producing them. This is true for Southwest Airlines and Toyota, for example.

I think the point is to take inspiration from the thinking and writing of these authors and from the experience of those who have sought to apply this new thinking about workplaces – and to start a dialogue within any organisation, based on questions like: “what would our organisation look like if we applied these principles?” rather than slavishly trying to follow some model.

New Unionism Network: So you think ‘management by means’ represents a more natural and healthy system? That work needs to be democratised not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it works better?

Alex Twigg:  Yes. And of course those two things are linked. Johnson makes a great point in his book ‘Profit Beyond Measure’(13), in which he summarises the difference between machines and living systems. He says: ‘Humans desire to maximise quantities, especially those connected with economic affairs. Maximising any object in nature renders it toxic – even oxygen. Nature by contrast therefore seeks to optimise whatever it has, knowing that exceeding boundaries implicit in its relationships and patterns is not healthy’.

In other words: Humans maximise; Nature optimises. Our machine metaphor for organisations is an expression of our desire for endless acquisition. It’s not a useful metaphor for shaping our thinking, if we are looking to build sustainable organisations. If we assume the laws that apply to the things we make – i.e. inanimate objects, apply also to who we are – i.e. living beings – then we have a “confusion of levels” in our thinking.  The anthropologist Gregory Bateson(14) coined this phrase to describe the difference between how Nature works and how humans think.

Classical science describes the laws that apply to the things we make. For example the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is about entropy. However, we know from quantum science that this does not apply to natural phenomena. Our command-and-control approach to organisations assumes that it does. Command-and-control can be thought of as a strategy aimed at avoiding entropy. In other words, if there is no-one “driving’ the organisation, the organisation will die. This thinking takes no account of one of the principles that accounts for all natural phenomena, namely: our capacity for self-organisation.

If we take this into account, then the issue from a strategic perspective is how to provide the conditions in which this naturally occurring ability, namely self-organisation, can flourish, as opposed to how to we can avoid the ever-present threat of entropy.

New Unionism Network: This all sounds fine, but let’s refer back to our example of the union as an organisation for a moment. If membership levels are falling, then the whole organisation is threatened. How can a union actively manage a threat like that? What would be your advice for unions facing this problem?

Alex Twigg:  Part of the answer, I think, is suggested in a recent McKinsey & Company survey(15). I know, that’s an odd source to suggest to unions! But this is in line with what I suggested earlier — that unions have a number of things in common with other organisations. McKinsey & Co surveyed business leaders and asked them what they would like to be doing in their organisations, in the face of the current crisis. Then they compared this with what they actually ended up doing. What I understand the survey to be saying is that despite the two things they identified as being most important – leadership (inspiring others and shaping actions) and direction (so that it’s clear where organisations are headed and that people are aligned on how to get there) – they found themselves doing the things they thought to be least relevant for managing in a crisis, namely monitoring individual performance and taking corrective action. I think there’s a link between the things they wanted to be doing and the concept mentioned above of “managing by means”, and the thing they ended doing and “managing by results”.

It’s a sweeping generalisation, but it seems from this that we tend towards the wrong answers when it comes to leading organisations in crisis, even where we understand intellectually what the correct path is. We default to the easy and the obvious. Even when we know that it is not the correct option. By the way, the survey also makes an interesting comment about leadership and gender. Many of the most needed leadership styles, now and in the future, are those used more frequently by women than by men.

So in answer to your question, I think that unions ought to be doing what all organisations should be doing. But perhaps their need and mandate are both greater, because of their espoused democratic purpose. That is, they should be creating the conditions within which people’s natural capacity for self-organisation and motivation is able to flourish. Getz describes this as the work of “liberating leadership”(16) and identifies a sequence of activities to achieve this. These are:
(1) create an environment for intrinsic equality – this removes the organisational barriers that hinder peoples’ freedom to act;
(2) create a vision big enough for people to care about – this ensures that the freedom to act is not simply used to advance individual interest but broader organisational interests;
(3) create an environment satisfying peoples’ need to grow – this develops the capability of people who are now both able and willing to act;
(4) create an environment satisfying peoples’ need to self direct – i.e. authorising able, willing and capable people to act, and;
(5) sustain the new organisational culture. This is fundamentally relational work – attending to the means rather than focussing the organisation on abstract performance objectives.

New Unionism Network: So ‘management by results’ leads to ‘business unionism’ – an approach that has been at the core of union decline since the 1950s?

Alex Twigg:  Yes. I think the generic pattern of decline applies to any organisation regardless of its purpose, if that organisation applies “management by results” rather than “management by means”. More of the same, compounded by panic, can only make things worse. Toyota’s run of success began when they grasped the fact that value needs to be defined by customers. It’s not about coming up with a new product, doing a bit of research, and then trying to sell it. And it’s certainly not about repackaging old products for new times.

New Unionism Network: (laughs) I hope a few of the ‘insurance agent’ types from the union movement are getting this message.

Alex Twigg:  It’s about letting go of the whole command-and-control model. Instead, I would suggest building the kind of system that seeks to keep unionism directly aligned with members’ actual stated needs. This means going beyond what organisers and officials assume, or what they believe unions are or should be.

Frankly, no matter what the organisation is, managerialism just gets in the way. You won’t get anywhere if your organisers see their job as delivering on top-down business targets. It’s got to start with building relationships. Recruitment will follow, just as sales came to Scania and Toyota, but this in itself can never be the goal. The goal is to become the right thing for members. The right thing, as defined by the members.

It’s about developing pull, rather than push. It’s about moving beyond a transactional, mechanical focus on a single abstract measure of value – namely membership numbers – and connecting with a purpose, based on an understanding of what people really want. And it’s about building an organisational form that really serves this purpose.

New Unionism Network: Practically speaking, how would a union go about a transforming itself in this way? It would be a huge shift for some of them to make!

Alex Twigg:  Yes, but they’re not alone. This is the key shift facing all workplaces today. It doesn’t matter whether they’re unions or factories or offices. In essence, it’s about building relationships. Relationships are the means by which people achieve desired results. If unions are looking for inspiration, they’d be hard pressed to find anything more inspirational than John Hoerr’s book “We Can’t Eat Prestige: the women who organized Harvard”(17).

New Unionism Network: Yes, Kris Rondeau is a member of the New Unionism Network as well. We’ve looked at relational organizing before. And the membership density they have achieved through this approach is stunning(18).

Alex Twigg:  I think the key message is that unions should stop sending out their poor old organisers with recruitment targets. Instead, ask them to go out and win connection and trust. They need to be finding out what workers want, not just telling them what great things they’ll get if they join. And what’s more, as this process unfolds, the union leadership needs to avoid leaping to conclusions about the way forward. Keep your mind open as long as possible. It’s just too easy to interpret information according to the models we already have in place. As Einstein once said: ‘Fundamental problems cannot be solved at the same level of thought that created them. The first goal is not to find answers, but to improve the questions’. To do this, we need to improve the information on which decisions are made.

When it comes to transforming organisations, there is a useful method based on something called ‘Theory U’(19). It involves a number of actions and practices which can be summarised by an approach Brian Arthur from the Santa Fe Institute said he adopted each time he was faced with a new challenge, namely:

  • Observe, observe, observe.
  • Retreat and Reflect.
  • Act in an instant.

It is not a question of implementing a ready made answer, but rather of unions becoming learning organizations; learning the answer through engaging with members in a way that builds relationships rather than focussing on trying to build numbers. The latter is a consequence of the former. Simply focussing on recruitment doesn’t build relationships, and in the absence of the former the latter is not sustainable. Or, at least, that is what the best thinking about organisational development seems to be saying – taken from a number of different perspectives and approaches.

New Unionism Network: Does this also mean that union management needs to be decentralised?

Alex Twigg:  Not at all. There’s a structural question that needs to be answered – what replaces the old command-and-control structure – but form needs to follow function. I think the central issue is how to transform thinking about the role of management. Once this question of function is worked out, then we can shape an organisational form appropriate to this function, and relevant to the particular context or environment.

A structural response like decentralisation would make it far too easy for command-style management to develop at regional level. ‘Management by results’ might just appear further down the line. We need to be thinking of management as a function, not as a group of people placed above us. This means getting away from the kind of employment relations that is based around contracts. That might sound like heresy at first. Of course, contracts are important; in some cases they’re the best protection a worker has. But in most workplaces this becomes a case of the tail is wagging the dog. A progressive culture has to be built around agreed principles, not imposed regulations. At the end of the day, it all comes back to building and maintaining relationships. It’s these that should define the contract, rather than the other way around.

Democratising workplaces in this way might lead in a number of directions. It might mean decentralisation; it might mean the opposite. The key thing is that the leadership has a mandate to manage the process, and that they do so in the interests of all those involved (members, their elected officials, staff, leaders), not just with an eye on the balance sheet.

New Unionism Network: I guess we’re pretty deeply conditioned to see money as the bottom line. What should we be looking for instead?

Alex Twigg:  I hope I am not being understood to say that organisations shouldn’t do well in the traditional sense. Rather, I think organisations can do well and do good. ‘Triple bottom line’ accounting(20) is well known, and while that represents a big step forward, moving away from a narrowly defined set of organisational  interests, it doesn’t necessarily mean better management. Joseph Bragdon makes this point in his book Profit for Life(21), when he introduces the notion of “Living Asset Stewardship” (LAS). He calls it a ‘triple top line’ approach, as distinct from the results-oriented triple bottom line approach. Bragdon defines LAS as: “the core of an emergent new theory of management … caring about people and the things people care about … beyond the end results of our actions (triple bottom line) to the processes we use to deliver those results (triple top line).”(22)

New Unionism Network: So what sort of evidence is there out there to support this combination of both “doing well”, in the traditional sense of earnings and profit, and “doing good” in terms of the processes used by organisations?

Alex Twigg:  Well, the theory is that management by results (the doing well part) might deliver higher peaks, it also delivers deeper troughs. Management by means on the other hand might not deliver the same high peaks, but certainly doesn’t deliver the same deep troughs.

At this point Alex shows me a graph from Profit Beyond Measure, reproduced below, which shows how the two approaches compare in terms of income swings and operating profit over time.

A = Management by Results
B = Management by Means

Bragdon offers some evidence for this by looking at the performance over 10 years of 60 companies that met the definition of LAS companies. He compares this with the performance of two other indices – the Standard & Poors 500 Index and the Morgan Stanley Capital International World Index(23). Now obviously not all 60 companies made a profit every one of those 10 years – but part of the point Bragdon is making has to do with “resilience” – i.e. the ability to survive economic cycles that might otherwise have resulted in these organisations demise.  De Geus in his book “The Living Company”(24) refers to research from his time at Royal Dutch/Shell. There, he found that the average life expectancy of Fortune 500 companies was only 40 – 50 years. Against this trend, 8 of the 60 LAS companies were more than 100 years old (Nokia being the youngest of them – founded in 1902. Stora Enso was the oldest- founded in 1288).

Leitear and others make a related point(25). They draw on work that shows that natural systems exist because they have both self-directed identity and flexibility to change. There is a zone of optimal robustness, one that can be described and measured, into which all natural ecosystems fall. This zone is called the “window of viability”. It represents an asymmetrical balance between the two opposing poles of efficiency and resilience. Organisations need more resilience than they require efficiency in this “window of viability”. Referring to the work of Bateson (mentioned earlier), the authors say that rather than seeking to maximise efficiency, nature optimises the asymmetrical balance between efficiency and resilience.

It seems to me that there are some ideas in there that are useful for our thinking about organisations. Many of the LAS organisations that Bragdon studied were also the most efficient producers in their sectors. This efficiency arose not as a result of “cost reduction” measures, but through focussing on enhancing the productive means of these organisations.

New Unionism Network: If I’ve read the graph above correctly, then managing an organisation by measuring results, like machine outputs, can sometimes lead to higher profits, but it also produces greater losses. In other words it increases instability. And at the end of the day, it actually decreases the average overall performance.

Alex Twigg:  That’s right. When an organisation is managed well, what you see happening is flow(26). People become really engaged in what they do. There are important precursors for this. The staff need to develop a clear idea of their own goals. Their work needs to become a good match for their skill set. They need space to develop themselves around this. There has to be ongoing feedback from all sides about how things are going. Putting these things together, as a community, means that the organisation is becoming free to evolve.

Most companies are a long, long way from this. I was struck the other day by another report which found that only 1 in 3 workplace initiatives are successful(27). This is not much different to John Kotter’s finding more than 10 years ago: 70% of all change failed to achieve what was intended(28). This is despite the creation of a whole industry of “change management knowledge and expertise”. Even traditional accounting firms are “change management experts” now, and no self-respecting MBA programme would go without a “change management” course. It’s a pretty abysmal result for all that effort!

I really do think there is room for unions to take a lead in this process. It’s what workers want, and it’s what organisations need.


end


* Alex Twigg currently works for the NZ Partnership Resource Centre. This is a government agency set up to promote democratic practice in the workplace. Alex has also worked as an employment relations advocate, mediator and arbitrator. In South Africa he worked in human rights litigation. He has years of experience in interest-based collective bargaining and joint problem solving. He doesn’t claim to be an academic; primarily, Alex is a workplace change agent. He is inspired by the alternative paradigms of organisational development and thinking that have been going on at the margins for decades – models which seem to be gaining more and more credence. 

Notes

(1) It is hard to find a neutral definition of managerialism. More often than not, the term is used perjoratively. The London School of Economics defines managerialism thus: “Operating the firm for the benefit of managers, persuing objectives attractive to the management team but which are not necessarily beneficial to the shareholders.” (http://www.lse.co.uk/financeglossary.asp?searchTerm=&iArticleID=1204&definition=managerialism). The Financial Dictionary defines it as: “Emphasis on efficient management, and the use of systems, planning, and management practice. Managerialism is often used in a critical sense, especially from the perspective of the public sector, to imply overenthusiasm for efficiency, or private sector management techniques and systems, possibly at the expense of service or quality considerations. The term is also used to describe confrontational attitudes, or actions displayed by management toward labor unions.” (http://www.qfinance.com/dictionary/managerialism)

(2) The Masters of Business Administration (MBA) originated in the USA in “…the late 19th century as the country industrialized and companies sought out scientific approaches to management. The core courses in the MBA program are… accounting, marketing, human resources, operations management, etc.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_of_Business_Administration)

(3) Philip Delves Broughton, Harvard’s masters of the apocalypse, The Times, March 1, 2009
(http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/education/article5821706.ece)

(4) “We call this a financial crisis or an economic one, but, at the core, it is a crisis of management. How could these mortgages have come to exist in the first place and, worse, how could they have spread to so many of the bluest of blue-chip financial institutions? The answers seem readily apparent. Those who promoted these mortgages were intent on driving up sales as quickly as possible for the benefit of their own bonuses, the ultimate consequences be damned.” Henry Mintzberg, Cleghorn professor of management studies at McGill University, “America’s monumental failure of management”, Globe and Mail, March 16, 2009

(5) The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and several of the global union federations, in particular UNI, had been warning of critical flaws in the application of finance capital for several years leading up to the crisis. They had published a range of articles, booklets, papers and reports on the subject.

(6) H. Thomas Johnson and Anders Bröms (2000) “Profit Beyond Measure: extraordinary results through attention to process and people” Nicholas Brealy Publishing. See link below for a review of the book http://www.theleanlibrary.com/profit-beyond-measure/. Also obtain an article in the Systems Thinker entitled “Manage by Means, not Results” by Johnson here that summarises the central premise of his book, namely the distinction between “management by results” and “management by means” http://www.pegasuscom.com/BookDetail.asp?BookQuery_Action=Find(‘ISBN’,’120601′)

(7) http://www.infed.org/thinkers/argyris.htm#_Theories_of_action

(8) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Edwards_Deming

(9) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_McGregor and http://www.economist.com/businessfinance/management/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12366698

(10) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociotechnical_systems

(11) Peter Block (2008) Community; the structure of belonging, Berrett-Koehler Publishers ISBN: 978-1-57675-487-0 and http://www.peterblock.com/ , Marvin R. Weisbord (2004) Productive Workplaces Revisited: Dignity, Meaning, and Community in the 21st Century ISBN: 0-7879-7117-0,  , Jossey-Bass/Wiley and http://www.marvinweisbord.com/articles.html , Peter Senge (2006) The 5th Discipline; the art and practice of the Learning Organization (2nd edition) Random House ISBN: 978 -1-90521-1204-3 and http://www.infed.org/thinkers/senge.htm, Margaret Wheatley (2006) Leadership and the New Science: discovering order in a chaotic world (3rd edition). Berrett-Koehler Publishers ISBN: 978-1-57675-344-6 and http://www.margaretwheatley.com/

(12) See link for a video presentation by Ricardo Semler of his applied thinking on the world of work at http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/308 or read one of his books http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=ricardo+semler&x=11&y=19 and for Taiichi Ohno see http://www.lean.org/Bookstore/ProductDetails.cfm?SelectedProductId=55

(13) Johnson op cit

(14) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregory_Bateson and see reference in Johnson op cit in particular at pp 48 – 49 and 197 – 200.

(15) Leadership through the crisis and after: McKinsey Global Survey results, McKinsey and Company Organization Practice, October 2009 (http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Organization)/Leadership_through_the_crisis_and_after_McKinsey_Global_Survey_results_2457

(16) Purchase a copy of Isaac Getz’ article for the California Management Review entitled “Liberating Leadership: how the initiative freeing radical organisational form has been successfully adopted” here http://cmr.berkeley.edu/search/articleDetail.aspx?article=5523 or read the book he co-authored with Brian Carney (2009) Freedom Inc: free your employees and let them lead your business to higher productivity, profits and growth Crown Business ISBN 978-0-307-40938-6… again a less than fortunate sub title; suggests a “new ruse by bosses to extract surplus labour” … but isn’t. The authors draw the distinction between highly motivated employees (who may have the wool pulled over their eyes for a while) and the sorts of organisational forms they are discussing that allows for employee self direction.

(17) John Hoerr (1997) We can’t eat prestige: the women who organised Harvard Temple University Press ISBN 1-56639-535-6

(18) See http://www.newunionism.net/library/organizing/Hololog%20-%20Relational%20Organizing%20-%202007.htm

(19) See http://www.presencing.com/presencing-theoryu or C. Otto Scharmer (2008) Theory U; leading from the future as it emerges – the social technology of presencing ISBN 978-0-9742390-5-7Society for Organisational Learning

(20) See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_bottom_line

(21) The full title of the book is Joseph H. Bragdon Profit for Life: How Capitalism Excels. It is a little unfortunate to say the least and  strikes me as a little bit of 90/s triumphalism … I think what Bragdon is really talking about in his book is “the transformation of capitalism” rather than a positive comment about the success of capitalism in its main stream form. Perhaps a better sub title might be “how Capitalism might excel”! The details are (2006) Society for Organisational Learning ISBN 978-0-974-23903-3

(22) Op cit pp15 and 318

(23) See http://www.solonline.org/pfl/

(24) Arie de Geus The living Company: habits for survival in a turbulent business environment ISBN 0-87584-782-X, 1997, Harvard Business School Press

(25) Lietaer, B., Ulanowicz, R., Goerner, S., and McLaren, N. Is Our Monetary Structure a Systemic Cause for Financial Instability? Evidence and Remedies from Nature. Submitted to Journal of Futures Studies for the special issue on the Financial Crisis (February-March 2010).  Go to http://tc.presencing.com/posts/our-monetary-structure-systemic-cause-financial-instability to down load a copy of the article.

(26) See Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, (2003). Good Business: Leadership, Flow, and the Making of Meaning. New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-200409-X and http://www.ted.com/speakers/mihaly_csikszentmihalyi.html

(27) McKinsey and Company op cit

(28) ‘Leading Change’, by Harvard Business School professor John P. Kotter, Free Press, 1995

March 1, 2009

Harvard’s masters of the apocalypse

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