Rather than focus on the intricacies of T-O-P Management (technology, organizations, & people), today I've chosen a few recent posts by others that are in the context of TOP Management -- Please comment with other posts/blogs that you think should make the list. 1. Fear of Bad Ideas by: Seth Godin
A few people are afraid of good ideas, ideas that make a difference or contribute in some way. Good ideas bring change, that's frightening. But many people are petrified of bad ideas. Ideas that make us look stupid or waste time or money or create some sort of backlash.
Seth Godin (author of Tribes) notes that innovation requires failure. Important idea. See also Bob Sutton's book, Weird Ideas That Work. The implementation of TOP Management will require failure. Who hasn't tried to build something and found the need to start over, make adjustments, or reweave a section? (For more on weaving, see this post.) 2. Don Norman Believes Technology Comes First, User Needs Last. What? by: DT (DT is an undercover blogger. His site notes that during the day he is a "dashing Senior Design Manager at a consumer electronics company, you probably would have heard off [sic].")
Yep. That’s what Donald Norman (of Design of Everyday Things fame) wrote in his latest essay on his blog. You get the gist of his view in this introductory paragraph: "I’ve come to a disconcerting conclusion: design research is great when it comes to improving existing product categories but essentially useless when it comes to new, innovative breakthroughs. I reached this conclusion through examination of a range of product innovations, most especially looking at those major conceptual breakthroughs that have had huge impact upon society as well as the more common, mundane small, continual improvements. Call one conceptual breakthrough, the other incremental. Although we would prefer to believe that conceptual breakthroughs occur because of a detailed consideration of human needs, especially fundamental but unspoken hidden needs so beloved by the design research community, the fact is that it simply doesn’t happen."
DT closing line is "So yes, Technology first, but if you put needs last or if technology does not collaborate or “handshake” with consumer needs, what is the point of being first?" DT understands TOP Management -- working together with technology, organizations, and people. 3. A New Role for the CIO: Reducing Complexity by Ron Ashkenas
There are four areas in which CIOs can reduce complexity: inefficient organizational designs; product and service proliferation; unmanaged process evolution; and ineffective but unintentional managerial behaviors.
I chose this last post as it points to areas that can benefit from TOP Management.
In each of these areas, CIOs and senior IT leaders need to ask the right questions to engage their staff and their business partners in a dialogue about simplification opportunities. Here are some of the questions that can be asked in each category...
The questions he poses each speak to the relationship of information technology (the focus of the Chief Information Officer's job) with organization and people. Nice way to blend a technology role into broader TOP Management. I expect Ron's book, Simply Effective, has other good strategies.