Management Hackathon #e2conf

This panel discussion involved Chris Gramms (Hackathon community manager), Mary Wolf (Yum! Brands), Nyla Reed (Educe), Dave Mason (Mozilla). They are involved with “Mix Management” that is focused on reinventing modern management.

[These are my notes from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2012 in Boston. Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]


  • The Management Hackathon This is a collaborative effort to reinvent management so that it works better in the age of the internet. They found 900 people around the world from a variety of organizations who were interested and then hosted the asynchronous conversations on a Saba platform over several months. They developed 20 full management hacks. They started by identifying everything that is wrong about management today. Then they identified what was right about the internet and asked what could be applied to modern management.
  • Hacks Must be Radical AND Practical. The hack needs to be radical to make a difference in the organization. However, it must also be practical and easy to implement. If it requires a huge change management program, it is much harder to implement. The beauty of hacks is that they let you chip away at a problem until you’ve made an impact.
  • Hacks Must be Simple. In the coding world, hacks were created by lazy coders. While this isn’t necessarily about rewarding laziness, management hacks should promote simple and easy improvements.
  • Hack:Embracing “Skills 2.0” How do you actually start developing the requisite organizational mindset? Are currect competency models structured to support the adoption of these technologies. They created a quick assessment (20 questions) that help particpants understand what E2.0 skill that already excel at and should use to improve your organization.
  • Hack: The Freedom/Accountability Swap. This is a “stealth” hack. It doesn’t require senior management approval to adopt it. Just start by initiating a conversation with your colleagues in which a manager and her subordinates identify places where they have high freedom, low freedom and then figure out what level of accountability is mutually acceptable.
  • Hack: Open Up Clip by Clip.Start by opening up processes within the organization. For example, begin with introducing transparency into how paperclips are procured and distributed. This is the type of process that most don’t find threatening and, therefore, should be willing to reform.
  • Why Points Trump Hierachy.This NOT a stealth hack. It’s principle is that no one receive rewards on thhe basis of past achievement, but rewards are given on the basis of points given for work curently done for the company and within the last year. This should eliminate outsize pay packages that don’t map to actual performance.
  • Hack: Leader Meter. This hack focuses on helping to uncover the natural leaders within the organizations, regardless of where they sit on the org chart. What’s key is for the organization to see them AND for the individual themselves to recognize their promise.
  • Hack: The Anonymous Hero.This hack focuses on allowing people to suggest innovations anonymously. This means that the idea rises or falls on the merits.And then the person proposing a good idea can be identified as the hero.

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