Follow the joy

Jan 21 2008 by Brian Amble Print This Article

If you want to find performance in an organization, follow the joy! That's the starting point for Dawna Jones' latest Evolutionary Provocateur Podcast, a discussion with Nick Zeniuk, a former Ford executive who is now best known for his work on organizational performance and learning.

Nick argues that traditional management structures Ė which are all about control Ė are now redundant because the way that things really get done is via informal, self-organizing social networks - the antithesis of the sort of hierarchical order beloved by old-school managers.

So the role of the "new manager" must be far more to listen, understand and tap the power of these network rather than seek to impose structure on them.

As a senior executive of Ford Motor Company, Nick Zenuik directed up to $5 billion of luxury car business and investment worldwide. His work in building the 1995-1998 Lincoln Continental, which set company performance records in multiple measures of quality, timing, and cost savings, was the subject of an MIT case study and subsequent book, Car Launch: The Human Side of Managing Change.

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It's thought-provoking stuff, so have a listen! If you like it, head on over to the Podcast page to sign up for the Evolutionary Provocateur RSS feed.