HM:  I have been writing in these TWOGs about the role of the plural sector in rebalancing society: first to recognize that it must take its place alongside the sectors called public and private (hence calling it “plural”, rather than civil society), and second to realize that the restoration of such balance will depend especially on this sector. The private sector is too powerful these days and the public sector overwhelmed by that power.   Some people don’t get the idea of the plural sector, perhaps because it has been so marginalized by

The On-Demand Economy provides a preview of where society is going: now and more so in the future typically employed work will be sourced from platforms: graphics design, secretarial services, programming … Logical consequence will be a strong increase of freelance work. In 2015, in the US more than 40 percent of the workforce were in insecure contingent jobs [1]. Employment is slowly going to erode and companies will shrink to a strategic core of managers who source most work from platforms.   In addition, such commoditized labour experiences a

The theme of the 2015 Drucker Forum that ended in Vienna two weeks ago was “Claiming Our Humanity: Managing in a Digital Age”. Nearly 500 management academics, business people and management consultants from all over the world attended the two-day conference in Vienna.   The preliminary events began with a CEO Roundtable on the afternoon of Wednesday November 6. The opening ‘provocation’ was supplied by Tom Davenport and Julia Kirby’s June 2015 Harvard Business Review article “Beyond Automation”. In it they address the threat that artificial intelligence in the form

A reflection on some aspects of the Global Drucker Forum 2015, with thoughts pertaining to the 2016 Forum theme: The Entrepreneurial Society   …by which I mean they have self-belief, self-control, and self-actualisation.   But they’re not the solution to rising unemployment caused by the rise of machines. We heard a lot at the recent Drucker Forum about the rise of machines, and how natural monopolies are being eliminated as competitive advantages erode quicker. Stability is not normal any more.   So we can plan our societies for reducing levels

“The world,” writes Alan Murray in Fortune, “is in the midst of a new industrial revolution.” The “frictionless corporation” of the 21st Century is “driven by technology that is connecting everyone and everything, everywhere and all the time.”   What then are the management practices of “the frictionless corporation” that enable “labor, information, and money move easily, cheaply, and almost instantly”?   Over the last year, a group of companies interested in finding out joined together to form a Learning Consortium for the Creative Economy, sponsored by Scrum Alliance, a

I was speaking this week with a new CEO of a new public company that is just being spun off from their parent company. Imagine all the important tasks on his plate involving investors and customers. And yet he told me his top priority is getting his employees engaged in the mission of their new company and helping them see how their industrial products are really becoming technology products and playing an important role in the lives of their customers.   He’s not alone. Gallup tells us that 87% of

One early evening a few weeks ago I went for a walk in the streets of Vienna. I was there for a gathering of Human Resources executives, the third conference I have attended this autumn in which a central theme was the “technological revolution” and its implications for employment, education, and lifestyles.   An hour earlier, while on a panel, I had answered some audience members’ tweets—sparking a minor controversy. Did reading from that tablet on stage enhance or diminish my humanity? Did it make me more connected or disconnected?

Few disagree that the time is ripe for reimagining complex organizations so that they are more human and more agile. But, existing models for how to make the shift seem to offer a choice between a “rock and a hard place.”   Take the thorny problem of developing people. Anachronistic annual performance appraisal systems, everyone agrees, must give way to more fluid and continuous feedback. Or, consider the issue of working flexibly while maintaining an esprit de corps. Standardized arrangements and face-time ism, we concur, must cede to more bespoke