Roger Martin illustrates the difference between Mintzberg‘s emergent strategy and deliberate strategy:
Every company has a strategy. Whether it ‘does strategy’ explicitly or not, the choices that it makes on a daily basis result in the company operating on some part of the playing field (i.e. making a where-to-play choice) and competing there in some fashion (i.e. making a how-to-win choice). It matters not a whit whether the industry is highly uncertain, every company competing in it has a strategy.
Without making an effort to ‘do strategy,’ though, a company runs the risk of its numerous daily choices having no coherence to them, of being contradictory across divisions and levels, and of amounting to very little of meaning. It doesn’t have to be so. But it continues to be so because these leaders don’t believe there is a better way.
Henry Mintzberg and Karl Moore suggest that “managers should be urged to become more worldly, not more global.” I think it’s a relevant suggestion for all.
The Oxford Dictionary defines worldly as “experienced in life, sophisticated, practical.” The worldly person seeks out diversity as a way to enhance his understanding of other cultures while adding nuance and appreciation to his inherited background.
The global person, on the other hand, conforms to an emerging singular culture.
Every year Britain’s Chartered Management Institute awards a Management Book of the Year and this year’s choice is Managing by McGill University‘s Henry Mintzberg.
Following the announcement Mintzberg said “I would be honoured by this lovely prize in any event. But it has special meaning for me because, of all the places I go in this world, none matches the U.K. for intellectual stimulation. The Brits combine curiosity and empathy with wonderful individuality, by which I mean, not acting for oneself, but thinking for oneself. So to be honoured in this way in the U.K. is especially delightful.
Wisdom (and book promotion) from Mintzberg via WSJ:
Basically, managing is about influencing action. Managing is about helping organizations and units to get things done, which means action.
One step removed, [managers] manage people. Managers deal with people who take the action.
And two steps removed from that, managers manage information to drive people to take action—through budgets and objectives and delegating tasks and designing organization structure and all those sorts of things.
Today I think we have much too much managing through information—what I call “deeming.” People sit in their offices and think they’re very clever because they deem that you will increase sales by 10%, or out the door you go. Well, I can do that. My granddaughter could do that; she’s four. It doesn’t take genius to say: Increase sales or out you go.
at the Management Lab‘s conference on “Inventing the Future of Management“:
- Tim Brown, IDEO: Creative people aren’t interested in management.
- Hal Varian, Google: ‘Statistician’ is the sexy job of the 21st century.
- Henry Mitzberg, McGill: We are not living in time of great change. Companies will not save the world.
- Eric Abrahamson, Columbia: Organizations are over-organized.
- Yves Doz, INSEAD: The danger is to think that what’s new is exciting and good, while what’s old is bad and tired.
- Keith Sawyer, Washington University: People are deeply uncomfortable with uncertainty.
- James Surowiecki, The New Yorker: The centralization of decision-making is a conceptual error. Individuals are not better than the collective.
- Jeffrey Pfeffer, Stanford: The language of economics is toxic to the practice of management.
- Kevin Kelly, Wired : Productivity is for machines. If you can measure it, robots should do it.