In business management, there is a problem. There is also an historic opportunity. The problem is that our conventional hierarchical approach, with a senior management operating ‘command and control’, is no longer a credible option for a rapidly changing, unpredictable, global business environment. The opportunity comes from the wealth of evidence and thinking behind an enlightened alternative. In this book I shall describe what I call ‘The Management Shift’, that focuses on people, their collaboration and sense of purpose.My research and consulting experience over the years enable me to demonstrate that companies that embrace this new approach go through transformation and create more value, innovation, employee engagement and achieve sustainable success. Many leading management thinkers have recognised the need for such a shift, and I cite the work of others as well as presenting my own research and experience. The implications are immense, because they imply not just new practices, but radically different mindsets, managerial behaviours and approaches to organisational governance and development. My intention with this book is to bring all dimensions together: the Why, the What and the How, as many books focus on the first two, but leave the practical manager with little insight into how to run things differently from the next working day. My ambition is that what you will read in this book will have a profound impact on your organisation’s ability to innovate, engage employees and adapt to a rapidly changing world.

In the Introduction, I describe the Why dimension: describing the reasons behind an organisation’s need to adopt new management practices to survive, thrive and have purposeful existence. This chapter describes how some of the mechanistic, dehumanising theories about organisations are conceptually flawed, and no longer fit for purpose. In Chapters 2, 3, and 4 we move on to the ‘What’: showing what needs to be done in organisations to adopt new management practices for organisational transformation, better innovation, engagement and value creation. Finally, in Chapters 5 and 6, I address the How dimension, demonstrating how this management shift can be achieved in practice. I describe a proven method called the 6 Box Leadership diagnostics tool, based on more than 20 years of my interdisciplinary research and consulting experience. I have used it successfully more than in 20 organisations worldwide, large, medium and small, in private and public sectors to help them transform and create more value. At the end of the book, I reflect on the implications of the Management Shift in terms of creating better social conditions as well as more effective companies, and describe existing initiatives that are helping to bring about this radical change.

This book is about turning knowledge into action to achieve a transformation. This is not a lofty ambition: I describe how it has been done. It is about igniting changes at individual mindsets and organisational culture that creates ‘The Management Shift’, creating many positive ripples that will go far beyond individuals and their organisations, positively impacting societies on a large scale. This book also shows what organisations should be like, what some of the progressive ones are like already and what majority of organisations will be like in the future.