Do not read too much about a possible relationship between the evolution of information technology and the impact of “upside down” management. It is the overwhelming message of answers to the column that raises questions about the possible connection between the two.
Let’s start by putting things in the right perspective, as Greg Waldrip points out. These are just ways to implement a strategy once goals are set, all in a supportive management environment. Dennis Crane agrees, adding that “Information technology should only upset corporations if they’ve already discovered that there’s a really fundamental reason for doing so.”
Some wonder if the organization is “turned around” an idea whose time has come. David Koltermann warns: “The revolution that could upset management is overrated … In the ideas market, inhabited by scientists and advisors, it might be better to serve personal promotion through provocation than to serve”
Others question the importance of the link between information technology and the form of the organization. Allen Roberts points out that the latter is just one of many possible implications of information technology, implying that this may not be the most important.
However, all of this depends on other factors that respondents consider highly relevant. John Ladge says, “I know from experience that it can work, but it really depends on the culture of the organization.” Waldrup says it more clearly: “To provide more information without creating an atmosphere in which people can judge is only going to fail.”
Others have suggested that information technologies are most commonly used in the context of medium and medium-income scenarios such as credit card processing, market forecasting, and so on. in the words of Shankar Avsb. He suggests that for only a few, information technology will play an important role in designing organizations, that “these organizations could eventually become the new market leaders”.
Although many things must happen before any fundamental organizational changes occur, we still have to wonder if this change is worth pursuing. If so, what changes in information technology and dissemination policies for their products will be required? If the process is long, is it even practical to start it in organizations whose leadership is “challenged by continuity”? Do scientists really want to turn management upside down and prepare future managers for the emergence? What do you think?
From time to time, someone has the idea of disrupting the organization with the customer at the top. Those who serve Frontline customers come next and the management is at the bottom of the hierarchy. It is catchy and too often out of sync with what really happens when organizations use the concept.
We now learn that the army is experimenting with satellite information technology that allows a tank commander to have a complete overview of the battlefield, including the location of allied and enemy tanks. With this knowledge, the best tank operators can make better and faster decisions than their superiors – but only under certain conditions. First, frontline tank commanders must have the intelligence and judgment to sort a mass of information that evolves in real time (like the best video game players). Second, the technology must work reliably, a problem in combat. Third, and above all, supervisors must be ready to delegate such decisions to prominent figures. As a result, there were as many spectacular failures as successes in military-technical tests. In fact, the introduction of information technology to the “conclusion” of the modern military has generally been rather disappointing.
Suppose these three obstacles are finally overcome. What does this mean for the traditional chain of command? Or on business?
For years, Edwards Deming, the father of continuous quality improvement, has had trouble convincing American automakers (unlike the Japanese) to implement the keys to quality improvement. These include improved information, quality improvement training and the delegation of powers to frontline production staff to close a $ 1 billion production line for quality improvement. Recently, Gary Hamel spoke in his book Leading the Revolution about using this information to encourage employees at all levels of a company to develop new business ideas and drive them forward in society. ,
If there is a common theme, there is a possibility that information technologies, coupled with appropriate selection, training and the willingness of managers to rethink their work, have the potential to completely disrupt organizations and change forever, whatever we do Leadership considered, if not leadership. But will this happen, considering what the army has found?
What about the reluctance of leading companies to use their information to serve the entire organization, even if their individual performance is punishable? What about the potential for substituting technology for frontline assessment? What about the fact that frontline employees are paid for their rank and not for their potential impact on performance? And what about the ability of management to change? Are information technologies raising false hopes or are we really entering a new era of upside-down management? What do you think?