There’s all sorts of management nonsense I fear, here are just two phrases that make me shudder:
“It all about” [insert fad of choice]
“Why don’t we just” [insert miracle of choice]
These phrases usually herald a lazy over simplification and a lurch from one tired dogma to another, often due to the mistaken belief that a choice must be made.
Here’s the latest, it’s all about culture. Let’s just concentrate on that and everything will be lovely. Better still, we don’t need strategy or process. That’s great because they were hierarchy’s really boring friends and if we just do culture we can declare hierarchy to be dead.
I really like the idea that culture eats strategy for breakfast and process for lunch (credit to Peter Drucker). Culture is rather complex, very difficult but great fun and it does do most of the work. Strategy and process are more precise and a little dull, but they keep the lights on. The things we eat sustain us.
Do them all, and do them all at once. It is not a choice. The good news is that a great culture enables us to have clear strategy, simple process, minimal policy, few metrics etc etc.
As for hierarchy, in a super connected world, it is less useful for managing communication, collaboration and innovation than it used to be; but it is more important than ever for ensuring accountability and protection from unintended consequences and rogues.
Rumours of its death are premature and an over simplification.