In the tangible economy, mechanization and mass production drove huge productivity gains as manufactured goods replaced those made by hand. These efficiencies came through strict discipline. Managers could describe to their employees in great detail the smartest way to accomplish their work: “Take Part A, attach these two screws then join Part A to Part B.” Through time and motion studies, the fastest and most efficient way to do things could be identified. To achieve these results, employees had to adhere to strict guidelines. In such an organization, decision-making was an activity that resided with management. Like military commanders, the word of managers was the guide for corporate action. This was a classic command and control model.
But in today’s world, your company is really a series of networks. These networks include both internal and external players. Knowledge is dispersed throughout the network—it is not concentrated in the managerial class. And the organization needs that knowledge to succeed. This means that a traditional hierarchical approach where knowledge and power flow from the top down will not get you the results you need. To describe this model, we borrow the image of orchestration from Peter Drucker. Read more