Intellectual fireworks on Guy Fawkes night


November, 2014

So, it seems I did manage to create some intellectual fireworks in Parliament on Guy Fawkes Day. It was a huge privilege and honour to have the opportunity to share “The Management Shift” ideas in front of the over-subscribed audience in the Grand Committee Room at the House of Commons on 5th November. The event was hosted by Rehman Chishti MP, Member of Parliament for Gillingham and Rainham.

One of the main reasons why I was invited to give this talk was because the findings from my new book The Management Shift are so much in line with those of the Parliamentary Inquiry on the Future of the Management and Leadership, published in the Management 2020 report in July. A summary of my research was submitted as written evidence for this inquiry. The report concluded that the rigid hierarchical structures of UK employers are hampering performance. In order to achieve prosperity, organisations need to focus on people, purpose and potential! I came to the same conclusion after more than 15 years of my interdisciplinary research, described in The Management Shift, which was completed two months before the launch of the Management 2020 report. Chapter 3 in my book synthesises a large body of the latest thinking from other researchers. Again, they all came to the same conclusion.

Endorsements I received for “The Management Shift” book from leading management thinkers offer further confirmation and support. All the research evidence is there. It is possible to talk in terms of a new consensus around a radically different approach to governance, leadership and management.

During many talks that I have given about “The Management Shift” ideas, I can see that people’s hearts and minds resonate completely with these ideas. Humanity is ready for this shift, longing for happier and more fulfilling workplaces!

I could hear that echo from the audience in Parliament on 5 November too. I am delighted with all the fantastic feedback I am getting on the talk, which indeed suggests that I managed to ignite some intellectual fireworks as promised, which is so movingly described in Gina Lazenby’s blog.

As it happened, while I was suggesting that we need a shift in mindset and organisational cultures, and a revolution in management, some anti-capitalism protestors outside Parliament were audibly demanding a different kind of revolution, which I doubt could solve the problems we are facing, as Philip Whiteley eloquently describes in his blog “What kind of revolution do we want?”.  At the time, no one in the audience was sure what the protest was about, but as the noise was getting more audible during my talk, I thought for a moment “I do not know what these people are protesting about, but whatever it is, it just proves my point: we do indeed have a problem that we need to address, and ‘business as usual’ is not an option anymore“.

I have written in the book, and said during some of my talks, that “The Management Shift” is my life’s work. The amount of effort behind it is difficult to describe with words; it has to be experienced. And yet, during the last few weeks since I started promoting my book, engaging more with people from all over the world through social media, and particularly as I was talking in Parliament and wondering how much more audible the protestors were going to become, another thought crossed my mind: “It seems like my life’s work has just begun, and now I need to help make this shift happen on a large scale. And then my Level 5 thinking kicked in again and the next thought was: why not? –  it is time now to create more powerful positive ripples”.

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