Is UnManaging the Modern Management?

In no CEQ on board? I have suggested the promotion of quantitative managers for the C level pointedly. But this was the provocation phase. My strong belief is that an emergence of quantitative theories and methods will kill the tradition of strictly boss-driven organizations.

Traditional companies are "incremental". Strangely, only a few C level members tackle the challenge of innovation. They're trained for operational efficiency. Even in a crisis there are few organizing a bottom-up renewal?


I grew up in organizations where strategies were built at the top, big leaders controlled little leaders, team members competes for promotion…Tasks were assigned, rules defined actions. It was the perfect form of "plan-and-control": a pyramid. Only little space for change.

In an organizational pyramid the yesterday overweights the tomorrow. In a pyramid you can't enhance innovation, agility or engagement.

It is indispensable to reshape the organizational form.


Traditional managers want conformance to specifications, rules, deadlines, budgets, standards and principles. They declare "controlism" as the driving force of the organization. They hate failures and would never agree to "gain from disorder".

Not to make a mistake, control is important but freedom is important as well.

Management needs to deal with the known and unknown, ruled and chaotic, (little) losses for (bigger) gains…


Bureaucracy is the formal representation of the pyramid and the regime of conformance.

Bureaucracy must die.

This part is inspired by Gary Hamel's Blog post in MIXMASHUP,

Change the organization

If we want to change the underlying form-and-ideology of management that causes the major problems, we may want to learn a little from the paradigms of modern risk management.

Duality - how to deal with the known and unknown
Boundaries - try to find the boundaries between the known and unknown
Optimization - optimization only works within the boundaries
Evolution - business in a networked world is of the co-evolution type
Game theory - a mathematical study of uncertainty caused by actions of others

This all needs quantitative skills. And if quantitative skills spread management fades.

The program grid

IMO, quants, that are self-esteemed, become stronger and contribute more to a better life if they drive a co-evolution in, what I call, a "program grid": a grid of individuals sharing programs, information and skills, without unleashing the very innovation making their solutions different. Program grids may be intra or inter-organizational.

Technology stacks, know how packages, workouts…destroy cold-blooded bureaucracy? If quants do not strive for getting picked, but choose themselves thy will contribute to the (indispensable) change.