Can an old company turn modern?

I read Gary Hamel’s new book The Future of Management with enthusiasm and frustration. He sets the tone already in the preface with the following statement:

Most companies have a roughly similar management hierarchy (a cascade of EVPs, SVPs, and VPs). They have analogous control systems, HR practices and planning rituals, and rely on comparable reporting structures and review systems. That’s why it’s so easy for a CEO to jump from one company to another…

His main message (to me) is about utilising the collective power of the organisation in all decision making, which calls for openness and a lot of lateral communication. Unfortunately, lateral communication is too often blocked by hierarchical structures.

Maybe I am a “romantic” (just as Gary Hamel?) who is so inspired by the book that I want to begin a crusade against 19th century management principles. Would it not be fantastic if one of the many dinosaur companies could change?

Watch an excerpt from a speech by Gary:
Continuous Management Innovation: What, Why and How?

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