Organisations are incompetent and no longer good enough in a world where change is "shaken not stirred" one of the world's leading business thinkers said yesterday.


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Gary Hamel, director of Management Innovation Exchange and the world's most influential business thinker according to the Wall Street Journal, said organisations were incompetent in so many ways it was like trying to get a dog to walk on its hind legs.

"When you give it a biscuit or treat it walks for a few minutes but when you turn your back it is back on four legs. This is because being a quadruped, not a biped, is in its DNA. Companies are the same," Hamel said.

Change in organisations is always on the margin or a reaction to crisis, he added. Both fail to address the deepest assumptions.

"We have to learn how to build organisations that have evolutionary advantages not competitive advantage at anyone time," he said.

Speaking at the CIPD's annual conference in Manchester, Hamel said the concept of management had been the most important social invention in the past 100 years but it was now a "busted flush", needing to be replaced and rebuilt from the bottom up in most companies.

"There is something in the way we manage our human resource that is not very resourceful. Organisations are characterised by an Existential vacuum. Management is the least value adding element in any organisation," he said. " The management model is toxic at its core."

He warned that the barriers to entry for disruptive companies were now broken and incumbent players in markets were no longer protected.

The consequence of all this is that organisations need to rethink their core principles.

"This is a historic opportunity. For the first time since the Industrial Revolution we cannot build an organisation fit for the future unless it is built fit for human beings. We need to make organisations as human as the people who work for them."

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