“Throughout human history, we have been dependent upon machines to survive. Fate, it seems, it not without a sense of irony. ”
– Morpheus, in The Matrix, 1999
Humanize is a guided tour of the next era in management.
The current era in management is winding down. It started 100 years ago, when management was invented by people who were focused on efficiency and productivity and modeled the way we run organizations after machines. This has worked for us. We have become very productive over the last century.
But this approach has limitations, the most obvious of which is our inability engage employees in their work. 70% are disengaged, and the numbers have been like that for years. That’s a lot of potential, wasted. And we’re also finding that our organizations have become too slow. Regardless of size, we can’t keep up with the pace of change. These are two of a growing list of management problems that never seem to go away—an indicator of an era coming to a close.
Humanize is a guided tour of what the next era in management is going to look like. Inspired by the ways in which social media has been successful, we identify twelve aspects of organizational life, spanning across culture, structure, process, and behavior, that will allow us to retain our machine-like efficiency while simultaneously solving our most pressing management problems (e.g., engagement, agility).
Each aspect is a door to be opened, a path to be followed, where you can experiment with what this new way of leading and managing will look like. And it doesn’t matter where you are in the org chart. We all will have the opportunity to define this new era of management. The book gives you examples from companies who are embracing these ideas already and provides resources for you to plan your own activities.
So come join the movement. Help us usher in this new era of management and leadership. We’re encouraged by the growing body of research, writing, and practice that is bringing this new approach to life. Join us.