Summary of Johanna Rothman’s session, about the Modern Management Principles, in the Leading Complexity program 2022

Modern management is about positioning yourself to take advantage of complexity. Managers deal with complexity all the time, and management complexity is different from what the teams encounter.

Read more: Summary of Johanna Rothman’s session, about the Modern Management Principles, in the Leading Complexity program 2022

In this keynote, our speaker, Johanna Rothman, explores 4 big ideas to adopt modern management practices: define “why” for the organization, create management teams, shorten feedback loops, and eliminate performance management.

Let’s see what she has to say:

The “Why” for the Organization

She clearly states that the initial step in embracing modern and complex management practices is to define the ‘why’ for the organization. This entails comprehending the organization’s purpose and objectives and effectively communicating them to all team members. 

“If everyone in the organization knows why they’re there and what they’re doing, they can make better decisions.” 

Such clarity helps employees concentrate on what truly matters and collaborate toward shared goals.

Management Teams

Creating management teams to reduce management decision time is the second big idea from Johanna. Once managers work in teams to get flow efficiency, they reduce the delays in asking and answering questions, and they save the company’s money.

Shorten Feedback Loops

Moving on to the third idea, Johanna Rothman explains that shortening feedback loops is critical to reducing planning burden and complexity “The shorter the feedback loop at any level, the more valuable, the faster we can discern the implication of the work that we do.” 

By providing regular feedback and adjusting courses quickly, teams can deliver results faster and more efficiently. This also enables the organization to respond to changes in the market and adjust its strategy accordingly.

“To reduce organizational complexity, managers work in smaller chunks, collaboratively and deliver (decisions) more often”

Eliminate Performance Management

Lastly, embracing modern management practices involves moving away from traditional performance management. Rothman argues that the problem with performance management is that we can’t identify each person’s contribution from the whole, and our perception of it is often wrong. There is a gap between what we know and what we don’t. 

Instead, she recommends emphasizing feedback as a means of achieving results. This entails acknowledging people’s successes and providing feedback on what works well. Organizations can attain improved outcomes by prioritizing feedback reinforcement and cultivating a harmonious culture that rewards teamwork.

In summary

To adopt modern management practices, organizations must focus on establishing a clear purpose and efficient management teams. Furthermore, reducing feedback loop duration and discarding traditional performance management are equally important. 

By implementing these 4 big ideas, organizations can nurture a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement, allowing them to adapt swiftly to market changes and attain better results. As Rothman states, “If we create a congruent culture starting with management, we can balance the self, the other, and the context.

Join this year’s Leading Complexity program to get access to the recording of Johanna’s session

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