Management Lessons From Gary Hamel

The Economist wrote a blurb about Gary Hamel in its management guru section.

Let me start with a confession: I’m a Gary Hamel disciple. Gary was one of my professors at the London Business School when I was part of an international exchange program from MIT in the late 80’s. His classes were the most dynamic that I have ever had. Since many of his concepts had not yet been published, I was treated to engaging lectures on powerful “new” management ideas like Strategic Intent and Core Competencies. He (along with his collaborator C.K. Prahalad) also wrote Competing For The Future.

What caught my eye in the article was a description of Hamel’s newest book “The Future of Management” where he says that management is out of date. While the book doesn’t attempt to define the future of management, he discussed three key elements:

  1. Having purpose
  2. Seeking out ideas from the fringes
  3. Embracing the democratising power of the Internet

My take: I totally agree; management is outdated. And Hamel’s three elements are consistent with what I’ve been writing about in this blog.  The idea that strategy flows from the top of an ivory tower down to the individuals who must act differently based on that strategy is woefully antiquated. My research on topics like Experience-Based Differentiation, customer-centric DNA, voice of the customer, and leadership has highlighted new management paradigms. So, as a Hamel disciple, I will attempt to define a new set of management principles.

The bottom line: Look out for my upcoming post called “Introducing The <#> New  Principles Of Management” (I’m not yet sure how many principles there will be). (Editorial note: The post was actually called Introducing The 6 New Management Imperatives).

Written by 

I am an experience management transformist, helping organizations improve business results by engaging the hearts and minds of their customers, employees, and partners. My "job" is Head of the Qualtrics XM Institute. The Institute is still being established, but our goal is to help organizations around the world thrive by mastering Experience Management (XM). As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. Prior to joining Qualtrics, I was managing partner of Temkin Group (leading CX research, advisory, and training firm), co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, and a VP at Forrester Research. I'm a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Check out my LinkedIn profile:

3 thoughts on “Management Lessons From Gary Hamel”

  1. Bruce,

    I’m reading The Future Of Management right now, or at least attempting to read it…at least once per page my brain starts applying some idea or concept from the book to my own company. Great book, but it’s gonna take me forever to get through it!

  2. Bruce,
    On purpose: I’m reading Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand 1957), which hits cinemas next year… Rand protested against weak purpose in organizations. Lack of purpose is a problem in “networked” organizations (Goffee, Jones), causing huge loss of value and opportunity.

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