Summary: IntroductionManaging When You Don't Know Where You're Going If you don't know where you're going, any mapwill do. 1 Thisconventional wisdom sounds right to many managers. It highlights the safety ofhaving a clear objective for your management actions. It implies that allmanagement actions are likely to be confused and inefficient if you don'thave a clear objective. If you don't have a good fix on yourdestination-be it a product or service, a strategic or competitiveoutcome, or anythi ...show moreng else-you may as well not start the journey.For a lot of your work, though, this so-called wisdom iswrong. Why? For one thing, you can't always know your destination inadvance. Whether you're designing a new product, running a business involatile conditions, operating a process that might encounter unforeseeninputs, or just trying to figure out what to do with your life, the journeyusually involves exploration, adjustment, and improvisation. Situations inwhich you don't or can't know the results in advance are common andconsequential. All businesses face them.If you're not too narrow in what you're willingto call ''management,'' you can manage these situations. You canenhance effectiveness and efficiency, and you can improve the likelihood ofvaluable outcomes. However, the methods you'll use will differ from, andsometimes conflict with, methods that work when you do know where you'regoing.There is an increasingly important category ofwork-knowledge work-that you can best manage by not enforcing adetailed, in-advance set of objectives, even if you could. Often in this kindof work, time spent planning what you want to do will be better spent actuallydoing (or letting others in your charge do), trying something you haven'tthought out in detail so you can quickly incorporate what you learn from theexperience in the next attempt. In appropriate conditions-only inappropriate conditions-you can gain more value from experience than fromup-front analysis. In certain kinds of work, even if you can figure out whereyou're going and find a map to get you there, that may not be the bestthing to do.Forging ahead without detailed specifications to guide youobviously requires innovation, new actions. We take this observation one stepfurther by suggesting that knowledge work, which adds value in large partbecause of its capacity for innovation, can and often should be structured asartists structure their work. Managers should look to collaborative artistsrather than to more traditional management models if they want to createeconomic value in this new century.We call this approach artful making. ''Artful,''because it derives from the theory and practice of collaborative art andrequires an artist-like attitude from managers and team members.''Making,'' because it requires that you conceive of your work asaltering or combining materials into a form, for a purpose. 2 Materials thus treated become something new, something they would not becomewithout the intervention of a maker. This definition usually points to workthat changes physical materials, iron ore and charcoal into steel, forinstance. But the work and management we're considering don'talways do that. Instead they mostly operate in imagination, in the realm ofknowledge and ideas. While artful making improves any thing that exhibitsinterdependency among its parts, we're not primarily concerned withheating metal and beating it into shapes. We're more concerned withstrategies, product designs, or software-new things that groups create bythinking, talking, and collaborating. Artful Making Any activity that involves creating something entirely newrequires artful making. Whenever you have no blueprint to tell you in detailwhat to do, you must work artfully. A successful response to an unexpected moveby a competitor requires artful activity; so does handling a sudden problemcaused by a supplier. An artful manager operates without ...show lessEdition/Copyright: 03
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