I’ve written some number of posts already describing the incompatibilities between traditonal, hierarchical, command-and-control management (THCM) and collaborative knowledge work (CKW). I’ve written that we can have one or the other, but not both.
I note the absence of any signs that THCM is being scrutinised anew – excepting from a few quarters such as Prof Gary Hamel with Humanocracy, and Frederic Laloux with Reinventing Organisations. Even though effective CKW becomes ever more widespread. Not to mention essential to businesses and society both.
Let’s assume for the sake of this partticular post that THCM afforts organisations and societies some real benefits. I personally have my doubts. but lets go with it. Similarly, let’s also assume that CKW also affors some real benefits. For what it’s worth you can probably guess my personal take on that assumption.
The Economic Question
So here’s the (economic*) question: Which affords the greater benefits to organisations: THCM or CKW, net-net?
If we geared how organisationa are run in line with optimising for effective CKW – which would mean downplaying, replacing or abandoning THCM – would these organisations be better off, produce better (finanical, social, etc.) results?
Conversely, does THCM – with the inevitable negative consequences for effective CKW, result in higher profits, margins, and other measures of success (financial and otherwise)?
I’d love to hear your take on this question.
*This question kinda assumes organisations are primarily economic entities with success measured in financial and economic terms. I suggest this is actually just a big lie.