Get Gary-ed Away: My Top 5 Favorite Gary Hamel Quotes

September 4, 2018 Sarah Mulcahy

Last week we shared some very exciting news. Business thinker, innovation guru, and best-selling author Gary Hamel is returning to the Workhuman Live stage in Nashville, March 18-21. He even gave us a sneak preview of his talk in his video announcement below.

If you’ve been reading the Workhuman blog for the past several years, you know that Gary’s research about bureaucracy couldn’t be more aligned with the WorkHuman movement. In fact, he was a keynote speaker at WorkHuman 2016 in Orlando.

Next year, Gary will share insights from his forthcoming book, “Humanocracy,” and provide tools to free organizations from the shackles of bureaucracy. And if you’ve ever wondered how pervasive the issue of excess management is, consider this: Gary and Michele Zanini found that bureaucracy is costing the U.S. $3 trillion per year. Unfortunately, even the most progressive companies can inadvertently implement policies and processes that hinder employees’ enthusiasm and growth. Gary will share tips for getting employees to think like owners and drive innovation.

Since I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Gary on the Workhuman blog a few times, I thought I’d share some of my favorite quotes of his:

  1. On change management:  “I believe that in the future, every change program will need to be socially constructed. Change programs need to roll up, not down. Change programs that cascade down are too slow. They’re too incremental. They’re not sufficiently nuanced – they don’t take account of local subtleties.  They feel imposed, and therefore illegitimate. This is why 70% of change programs fail.”
  2. On authority: “We are living in a culture that is increasingly authority-phobic. The millennials are very skeptical, and appropriately so, of positional authority. Over and over they’ve seen leaders who abused their authority or had their heads in the sand.”
  3. On leadership: “Today, people expect a very different set of traits from their leaders. They want people who are great mentors, who are unselfish enough to put the success of those around them above their own personal success. They’re looking for people who live in the future, who have a compelling point of view about how to shape the world and how to create new opportunities.”
  4. On humanity at work: “More than everything else – more than our creativity, more than our intellect – what makes us human is our capacity for empathy. And it’s hard to empathize with people if you don’t know what they’ve been through, where they’ve come from, what they’ve overcome and where they want to go. A more human workplace is one with more deeper connections.”
  5. On crowdsourced pay: “What matters isn’t the opinion of one individual – your boss – but of all the people who work with you. Ultimately, I believe compensation decisions need to be peer-based. Pay needs to reflect the collective judgment of your peers about your value to the organization. This approach is already being used in organizations like W.L. Gore and Morning Star.”

Is there a question you’d like Gary to answer? He’s scheduled to be one of our next guests on Workhuman Radio. Post your question in the comment section!

… and don’t forget to reserve your spot at Workhuman Live 2019 by registering today.