But the new reality is that networks are the new companies. The company no longer offers the stability it once did as innovative disruption comes from all corners. Economic value is getting redistributed to creative workers and then diffused through networks. Knowledge networks differ from company hierarchies. One major difference is that cooperation, not collaboration, is the optimal behaviour in a knowledge network. In networks, cooperation trumps collaboration.
Improve insights – Too often, management only focuses on reducing errors, but it is insight that drives innovation. Managers must loosen the filters through which information and knowledge pass in the organization and increase the organizational willpower to act on these insights.
http://www.slideshare.net/charlesjennings/the-702010-framework – As Charles Jennings notes, managers are vital for workers’ performance improvement, but only if they provide opportunities for experiential learning with constructive feedback, new projects, and new skills.
Focus on the “Why” of Work – Current compensation systems ignore the data on human motivation. Extrinsic rewards only work for simple physical tasks and increased monetary rewards can actually be detrimental to performance, especially with knowledge work. The keys to motivation at work are for each person to have a sense of Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. This is a network management responsibility.
Help the Network Make Better Decisions – Managers should see themselves as servant leaders. Managers must actively listen, continuously question the changing work context, help to see patterns and make sense of them, and then suggest new practices and build consensus with networked workers.
Be Knowledge Managers – Managers need to practice and encourage personal knowledge management throughout the network.
Be an Example – Social networks shine a spotlight on dysfunctional managers. Cooperative behaviours require an example and that example must come from those in management positions. While there may be a role for good managers in networks, there likely will not be much of a future for bosses.