Summary of Unboss

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Rating

8

Qualities

  • Analytical
  • Concrete Examples
  • Applicable

Recommendation

Lars Kolind and Jacob Bøtter offer an intriguing guide designed to help organizations meet the challenges of a new business world. Today, knowledge, purpose and collaboration – rather than hierarchy, competition and a bottom-line-only focus – make the difference between success and failure. Traditional management structures form such a solid foundation of the conventional view of the world of work that it is difficult to examine them, much less imagine living without them. But if you want to take a different approach – one that is beginning to sound less radical, that does not rely on creating winners and losers, and that gives your firm a purpose beyond your bottom line – try “unbossing.” This collaborative management method relies on shared passion, adult responsibility and sharing work within and outside of an organization. The authors combine astute analysis with anecdotes that demonstrate the possibilities of managing differently and more appropriately for today’s knowledge-based world. getAbstract recommends this insightful – if optimistic – overview of tomorrow’s management techniques to managers, academics, start-up entrepreneurs and those seeking new, more effective methods.

About the Authors

Lars Kolind was group chairman of Grundfos, the world’s largest manufacturer of water pumps. Jacob Bøtter helped establish Wemind A/S, a Danish consultancy company.

 

Summary

“Hierarchical Management”

For decades, senior executives viewed hierarchical management as the only way to run an organization. Changes in the world of business and the world at large render such outdated management concepts a hindrance. Social media, among other factors, make organizational “barriers,” such as departmental silos that limit communication inside companies, far less rigid than they once were.

As established companies grow, employees are increasingly disenchanted. Employees are educated, come from different ethnic groups, and more of them are women. Today’s workers have different expectations of and seek meaning in their jobs, and are reluctant to accept orders without understanding them. Companies must abandon their belief that what worked in the past will work in the future. For example, Kodak foundered because it could not shift its emphasis from photographic film to digital.

Management theorists argue that lower prices create a competitive advantage. This belief drives companies to become larger, to automate and to increase “outsourcing.” When businesses put undue emphasis on profitability, the result is an unhealthy work ethic that...


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