Brad Hargreaves | Building Things

Brad Hargreaves on entrepreneurship, community and life

A Golden Age of Management?

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It’s been exactly 60 years since Peter Drucker published The Practice of Management, bringing professional people management into the world of social science. And over the last twenty years, it’s gotten cheaper and easier to build a company, companies that are more often led by non-traditional managers with more leeway to try new things. Together, these forces are leading us into a golden age of people management.Picture from Valve's Office

In the history of organized work there has never been such a diversity of management tactics and structures. From holacracies to adhocracies to flat structures to four day weeks, entrepreneurs and managers are trying new ways to get things done and keep people happy at a faster rate than ever before. Just look at the headlines on Hacker News — you’re almost always able to find a couple front-page pieces on a new org chart or management hack.

I don’t agree with many of these tactics. Most won’t work. But some will, and aspects from others will get incorporated into more traditional management canon.

There’s been a lot of negativity floating around the tech world these days. This post isn’t about that. But it is about always seeking to do things better and iteratively improving the world around us, and in that spirit I’m optimistic.

Written by Brad Hargreaves

January 3rd, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

  • https://twitter.com/#!/sergeynazarov Sergey Nazarov

    Yep, it’s great that the market has gotten companies to compete on this dimension. Driving growth by creating above average results from individual highly paid knowledge workers eg:developers, to everyone’s great benefit.

    Though the piece of this literature that seems highly underdeveloped is how those who directly lead the highly paid knowledge workers should deal with their own psychology. What should the CEO/PM of a 3-10 person team do/believe/prioritize in the ups as well as the downs, to consistently achieve the optimal result in a volatile environment where high risk scenarios and regular setbacks are common eg: technology startups. Other than Ben Horowitz’s new book and a few blog posts here and there, I haven’t found much worth reading. Is there anything that has helped you with this?