Management in times of change

Essay by Liliana86 June 2008

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The statement that life is getting faster is a truism. It is evident in every aspect of human life;from the amount of information doubling every 20 months to the increase in the pace ofwalking among urban dwellers. The increasing velocity of the world implies shortening thelife-cycle of ideas. The ideas from yesterday are valid today, but will be obsolete tomorrow. Itis today that will be tomorrow's yesterday. This fact has an impact on every area of humanactivity, management included. Managers who want to go head to head with the speed of lifeneed to embrace change. Preserving status quo is no longer a valid option. As InfoWorld'sBob Lewis put it in today's world change is the only constant. Increasing number of changesleads to an incredibly complex situation, a situation which can be dubbed chaos. Thechallenge of management in times of change is, as Tom Peters suggests, thriving on and notamidst chaos.

Management in times of change implies a completely new world view. Subjective view onhow managers should face reality will be presented here using the division borrowed fromphilosophy. First it needs to be clear what the world and the environment of business activityis - management's ontology. Second it will be presented how managers should see theiremployees, partners and customers and what is their organizations' reality - management'sepistemology. Finally it will be shown how managers should tackle reality and how to decideif the course taken is the appropriate one - management's methodology. The views presentedhere are based on recent developments in the area of management, but also a number ofscientific theories; postmodernism, complexity and Bayesian inference. Conclusion will sumup previous arguments.

Ontology - world as a fluxIn Greek mythology, the world and the first gods - Gaia and Uranus - emerged out of Chaos.

What the Greeks have known for thousands...