Humanocracy – uninstall bureaucracy and build something better in its place

Human-centred systems

Wake up to the new workplace revolution

Despite all the talk about empowerment, “task discretion” is declining.

Build a business that outruns the future and outperforms rivals. Replace bureaucracy with humanocracy

As the political theorist Max Weber observed: “Bureaucracy develops the more perfectly the more it is dehumanised.

So what does matter to people

bureaucracy has little room for courage, intuition, artistry, playfulness, and love – the things which make us human

Bureaucracy can prevent changes

“Human beings are change addicts – we move house, switch jobs, change life partners, take up new hobbies, and venture off to new holiday destinations.” In Hamel’s view, it’s bureaucratic structures, not human beings, that resist change.

What makes work disengaging is the environment.

“Bureaucracy is a caste system that creates deep distinctions between managers and employees, the ‘thinkers’ and the ‘doers,’ the clever and the compliant.”

bureaucracy was the product of its time. In the nineteenth century, most employees were illiterate, information was hard to gather, administrative competence was rare, change was glacial, and scale was a decisive advantage.

“You can’t roll back bureaucracy without redistributing power, and, as you may have noticed, people with power are reluctant to give it up, and are often adept at acquiring more of it.”

Hamel describes bureaucracy as “a massive multiplayer game in which people compete for the prize of positional power.” To get ahead, ambitious players must master the “dark arts of bureaucratic infighting,” which include hoarding resources, negotiating targets, defending turf, sucking up, and deflecting blame.

The key, Hamel points out, is to gain the advantages of bureaucracy – control, consistency and coordination – without the attendant costs. 

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