Move aside MBO (Management by objectives), and ABM (Activity Based Management)… Move aside Drucker, Kaplan… The old order giveth way to the new… No more do we need fancy Harvard gurus… Corporate leadership has found a new tool to whack the world with… Enter BBM…
The background is this. The Information revolution that swept across the world suddenly put the spokes in the wheels of the rising leadership… New technologies to learn, new systems to ride … No more shouting at the bourse… Computer algorithms, sophisticated quantitative models, new management jargon… Life was complicated for the rising leaders… At heart they knew, all this is bunkum… If you can manage to shout, you can manage to lead… But then, the knowledge workers were challenging the shouters… The shouters were computer challenged… The world was running on computers and bypassing them… What do they do, except set up a PMO (a couple of MBAs in a group called the project management office) and beat them to prepare the presentations… Even draft their emails… Good written communication, which was never a strength of the shouters, became a real spoke in the wheel…
Not any more.
BBM has changed all that.
What is BBM, you ask?
BBM stands for Blackberry based management. No more problems. The world is a blackberry. Management made simple. Instant and terse. Let the clerks clash over attachments (PPTs, excels, and stuff). The leaders will send simple oks, no oks, ‘we need this deal’, ‘Good, congrats’ kind of messages. Brevity be excused, as message is being sent from Blackberry. Anything that cannot be done with brevity, use the phone. Shout.
So suddenly, old style leadership has found the right tool for operational excellence. Have an eye on the whole world, scan the sky, and issue your lightning bolts! Follow that up by a long phone thunder, if needed!
Take a simple scenario… A new prospect in an emerging market wants you to sign an NDA if you want to bid for their business.. Legal department finds eight serious objections to signing such an NDA. The sales fellow in the field is jumping up and down. The Sales head at HQ moves into the act… Has a discreet word with legal, and clears the NDA. The Geo-head declines to sign as CFO has not personally cleared. The sales fellow in field screams “Will someone please clear this NDA? If we dont sign this, we are out of the deal”. The Sales head, who is out fishing, loops with CFO, says “I understand… I ought to have cleared it with you… Yeah, I’ll send you a mail that I have spoken with Legal… Hey thanks!”. CFO says “Sure. With you I have no issue. But these sales fellows in the field, they will sell the company down the chute, if we let them…” CFO then sends an ok. All this transcontinental drama, finished within the hour. Oh, the power!
Hail BBM! Throw away the computer. No more the need to keep up with Windows and office updates and stuff… All that is for the nerds!
Use someone else’s laptop, only when needed. To read an important attachment, like your personal credit card bill.
For all else, its BBM. Rrrrrrrrrring…