In this business guide, a strategy consultant discusses why and how to manage today’s knowledge-based work to achieve faster and better results.
“Scientific management,” developed in the industrial era to oversee the output of factory workers, is an outdated approach for today’s knowledge-worker culture. In this guide, Bergstrand draws on research and case studies to showcase why the social sciences-based EDBA (Envision-Design-Build-Activate) approach is a better way to manage today’s knowledge-based workers, producing better and faster results and therefore a critical “velocity advantage” in business. EDBA helps individuals and teams collaboratively organize “the opposing forces of knowledge, work, subjectivity, and objectivity” by first becoming clear on the destination/time frame of a project (Envision), then establishing the priorities to implement the envisioned project (Design), and only after that building or executing the project by activating the right people assigned to the right work at the right time. “Through these four steps,” Bergstrand asserts, “human knowledge is converted into organizational outcomes.” He discusses how certain job roles tend to fall into certain quadrant areas and how EDBA creates a shared language, framework, and process that incorporates critical stakeholder insights, facilitates collaboration, and ensures integrated project management. Bergstrand also details the Strategic Profiling-Action Planning (SP-AP) process used to introduce EDBA into an organization, including issuing a Strategic Profiling (SP) survey to help people understand their individual/group preferences and abilities within the framework. Bergstrand (Reinvent Your Enterprise, 2009), a former Coca-Cola exec and currently a Drucker Institute board member and business strategy consultant, offers an authoritative and compelling case for implementing this business model. He goes deep into its concepts, providing dedicated chapters and charts on the many nuances by which people may fit in and play out the EDBA process, and also discusses how to make velocity a company’s “brand.” While such detail makes for a somewhat intimidating textbooklike experience, Bergstrand also thankfully provides helpful end-of-chapter summaries as well as enlivening “color” commentary, including a snapshot of how Star Trek’s main characters exemplify EDBA qualities.
Well-reasoned road map for a less mechanized and more people-focused management model.