There are two things wrong with human resource management—the notion that human beings are “resources,” rather than multi-faceted human beings, and the assumption that they need to be “managed” rather than empowered and equipped. Nearly 60 years after the publication of Douglas McGregor’s The Human Side of Enterprise, we still regard people at work as “instruments”—as a means to an end rather than an end in themselves. Until this changes, organizations will waste more human capacity than they use.
This is the departure point for Gary Hamel’s radical prescription for tearing down bureaucracy and building new human-centric organizations. To do this, Hamel argues we must start by being honest about why so little has changed in the last 60 years. Surveys around the world reveal that employees have even less autonomy than they did a decade ago—despite all the new tools and technologies at their disposal. The problem, Hamel argues, is that bureaucracy has powerful defenders—leaders who’ve spent years scaling the pyramid and are less than enthused by the idea of super-flat, self-managing organizations. Nevertheless, those are the only sort of organizations that will thrive in an increasingly networked world.
In his provocative and practical talk, Hamel will share a detailed blueprint for: