Skip to main content

Humanocracy

 

The book subtitle in the headline above convinced me to read, Humanocracy, by Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini. The authors present a fascinating look at how to breakdown the bureaucracy within your organization and unleash the power and true abilities of the human beings in your organization – making your organization more bold, entrepreneurial and as nimble as change itself. 

Humanocracy expertly lays out a detailed blueprint for creating organizations that are inspiring and ingenious, and provides you research-based examples, practical guidance and, most important, action steps to take immediately. 

The authors explain that: 

  • Human beings are resilient. Our organizations aren’t.
  • Human beings are creative. Organizations are (mostly) not.
  • Human beings are passionate. Our organizations are (mostly) not. 

Some of the broader themes for how to harness the power of humanocracy include: 

  • Teaching frontline staff to think like businesspeople.
  • Cross-train associates and organize them into small, multifunctional teams.
  • Pair new employees with experienced mentors.
  • Encourage employees to identify and tackle improvement opportunities.
  • Set ambitious goals and tight timelines to challenge everyone to do more with less.
  • Create teams that are small and where roles are loosely defined, and policies are flexible.
  • Treat every individual and role as indispensable to collective success.
  • Prize initiative and encourage individuals to take prudent risks. 

And, do your best to banish these common objections when solving for new problems and forging new paths: 

  • We don’t have the budget.
  • We'll never get it past legal.
  • That doesn’t fit our strategy.
  • That’s not our culture.
  • It’s impractical.
  • There’s a lot of downside. 

While you are breaking down bureaucracy within your organization, the authors also recommend you ask these 9 questions. Then, use your answers to identify areas for improvement. 

  1. How many layers are there from frontline employees up to your CEO/top position?
  2. What percentage of your time do you spend on “bureaucratic chores” (e.g. preparing reports, securing signoffs, participating in review meetings, etc.)?
  3. How much does bureaucracy slow decision making and action in your organization?
  4. To what extent are your interactions with your other leaders focused on internal issues (e.g. resolving disputes, securing resources, etc.)?
  5. How much autonomy do frontline teams have to design their work, solve problems, and test new ideas?
  6. How do people in your organization react to unconventional ideas?
  7. In general, how easy is it for an employee to launch a new project that requires a small team and a bit of seed funding?
  8. How prevalent are political behaviors in your organization?
  9. How often do political skills, as opposed to demonstrated competence, influence who gets ahead in your organization?

Finally, the authors encourage you help your employees think and behave more like entrepreneurs. Because, the greater the percentage of employees who agree with the following statements, the more entrepreneurial, nimble and creative your organization: 

  • My work is my passion.
  • I get to make meaningful business decisions.
  • I feel directly accountable to customers.
  • I intuitively think lean.
  • My team is small and super-flexible.
  • The success of this business depends critically on me.
  • I measure progress in days and weeks, not months and quarters.
  • Every day I have the chance to solve new, interesting problems. 

Thank you to the book’s publisher for sending me an advance copy of the book.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Sample Of Solid Business Guiding Principles

I really like these  10 guiding business principles  that San Antonio, TX headquartered insurance company  USAA has lived by: Exceed customer expectations Live the Golden Rule (treat others with courtesy and respect) Be a leader Participate and contribute Pursue excellence Work as a team Share knowledge Keep it simple (make it easy for customers to do business with us and for us to work together) Listen and communicate Have fun Too many companies don't make it simple for their customers to do business with them. Is it easy for your customers to: Buy from you? Make returns? Get pricing and terms? Receive timely responses to their e-mails? Quickly get answers when phoning your company? You can find more examples of companies with impressive guiding principles in the book,  1001 Ways To Energize Employee s .

6 Ways To Seek Feedback To Improve Your Performance In The Workplace

Getting feedback is an important way to improve performance at work. But sometimes, it can be hard to seek out, and even harder to hear.  “Feedback is all around you. Your job is to find it, both through asking directly and observing it,” says David L. Van Rooy, author of the new book,  Trajectory: 7 Career Strategies to Take You From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be . As today's guest post, Van Rooy offers these  six tips for how to get the feedback you need to improve performance at work . Guest Post By David L. Van Rooy 1.       Don’t forget to as k :  One of the biggest mistakes people make is assuming things are going perfectly (until they make a catastrophic mistake). By not asking, you’re missing out on opportunities for deep feedback: the difficult, critical feedback that gives you constructive ways to improve. 2.       Make sure you listen :  Remember, getting feedback is about improving your performance, not turning it into a “you versus the

Effective Listening: Do's And Don'ts

Here are some great tips from Michelle Tillis Lederman's book, The 11 Laws of Likability .  They are all about: what to do and what not to do to be a leader who's an effective listener : Do : Maintain eye contact Limit your talking Focus on the speaker Ask questions Manage your emotions Listen with your eyes and ears Listen for ideas and opportunities Remain open to the conversation Confirm understanding, paraphrase Give nonverbal messages that you are listening (nod, smile) Ignore distractions Don't : Interrupt Show signs of impatience Judge or argue mentally Multitask during a conversation Project your ideas Think about what to say next Have expectations or preconceived ideas Become defensive or assume you are being attacked Use condescending, aggressive, or closed body language Listen with biases or closed to new ideas Jump to conclusions or finish someone's sentences

Good Sample Business Principles

I really like these 10 guiding business principles that San Antonio, TX headquartered insurance company  USAA  lives by: Exceed customer expectations Live the Golden Rule (treat others with courtesy and respect) Be a leader Participate and contribute Pursue excellence Work as a team Share knowledge Keep it simple (make it easy for customers to do business with us and for us to work together) Listen and communicate Have fun Too many companies don't make it simple for their customers to do business with them.  Is it easy for your customers to: Buy from you? Make returns? Get pricing and terms? Receive timely responses to their e-mails? Quickly get answers when phoning your company? You can find more examples of companies with impressive guiding principles in the book, 1001 Ways To Energize Employees .

Characteristics Of The Best Leaders

Author  Melissa Greenwell  interviewed many top business executives while doing research for her book,  Money on the Table . When she asked them to list characteristics of their best leaders, those who work well as a team,  collaborative  was almost always first and foremost. The full list is: Collaborative Good listener Asks thorough questions and seeks new information or is curious and innovative Risk taker Sense of urgency or takes action Subject matter experts Not afraid to challenge Participatory Intuitive Wants or seeks feedback Empathetic Respectful

3 Things Your Mission Statement Must Have

A lot of companies struggle when creating their mission statement. Author Peter F. Drucker provides the following good advice in one of my favorite book's of his, The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization :" Every mission statement has to reflect three things : Opportunities Competence Commitment In other words, he explains: What is our purpose? Why do we do what we do? What, in the end, do we want to be remembered for? How well does your mission statement meet Drucker's recommended three requirements?

The Four Components That Create Customer Satisfaction

Great customer service tips from author Micah Solomon's new book, High-tech, High-touch Customer Service : You provide value when you deliver the four components that reliably create customer satisfaction : A perfect product or service Delivered in a caring, friendly manner On time (as defined by the customer) With the backing of an effective problem-resolution process Micah has been named by the Financial Post as “a new guru of customer service excellence.” He is a keynote speaker and consultant on customer service issues, the customer experience, and company culture.  He previously coauthored the bestselling Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit .      

Leaders Must Put Character At The Center Of Everything They Do

  “How you show up, what you stand for, and what actions you take to that end—as an individual and as a leader in your organization—are now gating factors to lasting success,” explains Frank Calderoni in his new book, UPSTANDING:  How Company Character Catalyzes Loyalty, Agility, and Hypergrowth . He adds that 2020 was the moment of truth for character, and building an upstanding company character is what will drive long-lasting success.  Calderoni explains that leaders must put character at the center of everything they do, and he explains that company culture is distinct from company character . He explains that:   Company culture is the system of beliefs, values, goals, behaviors, and the way employees feel working in the organization—from leadership style, decision-making norms, customer experience, and company policies—officially and unofficially. Essentially, it’s the personality of the organization.   Company character is the integrity, respect, and fortitude residing a

How To Be An Impact Player In The Workplace

  Within the workplace there are Contributors and Impact Players – each representing a distinct way of working – the first leads to a job well done while the other carves a path to true leadership and generates immense value.  More specifically, Liz Wiseman , author of the new book, Impact Players , explains that:  While others do their job, Impact Players figure out the real job to be done. While others wait for direction, Impact Players step up and lead. While others escalate problems, Impact Players move things across the finish line. While others attempt to minimize change, Impact Players are learning and adapting to change. While others add to the load, Impact Players make heavy demands feel lighter.  “ Impact Players is written for aspiring leaders, striving professionals who want to be more successful at work, increase their influence, and multiply their impact,” explains Wiseman. “It is also a book for today’s leaders, those managers who want to cultivate more of

How To Go Beyond Happiness

Jenn Lim is the CEO Of Delivering Happiness, a company she and Tony Hsieh (the late CEO of Zappos.com) cofounded to create happier company cultures for a more profitable and sustainable approach to business.  Lim ’s mission is to teach businesses how to create workplaces—led with happiness and humanity—that generate more profit, sustain all people at every level of the organizations, and share how we can make an impact by being true to our authentic selves.  It’s this mission that drove Lim to author her new book, Beyond Happiness, How Authentic Leaders Prioritize Purpose And People For Growth And Impact .  Describing her book, Lim says, “No matter what role you have at your organization, this life-changing guide will enable you to get to the core of who you are, live with purpose through the work you do every day, and spread that power to others in your business and beyond.”   Jenn Lim   Today, Lim shares these additional insights with us:  Question: What is "Beyond