BRAIN FOOD: It just might work - Magnetic management

BRAIN FOOD: It just might work - Magnetic management - Few universal complaints are tougher to eradicate than 'tubular bells', 'silos' or 'empires' - the refusal of internal hierarchies to collaborate.

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Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Few universal complaints are tougher to eradicate than 'tubular bells', 'silos' or 'empires' - the refusal of internal hierarchies to collaborate.

Conventional solutions, like cross-border meetings, don't and won't work.

So try a radical answer. Abolish the hierarchical loyalties. That's what David Falvey did on taking over the British Geological Survey. Scientists were taken away from their manager-owners and placed in a central pool.

Each 'program' manager was left with projects, but no people; projects have to be magnetic enough to attract scientists, whose loyalty is now to the organisation. Result? Better projects, increased outspokenness and healthier internal competition, claims Falvey in the Harvard Business Review. But it took BGS two years of no doubt tubular discussion.

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