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Hacking Management: Final Report for the Gartner/MIX Hackathon

by Mark P. McDonald  |  October 23, 2012  |  Comments Off on Hacking Management: Final Report for the Gartner/MIX Hackathon

In March of this year Polly Labarre from the Management Innovation Xchange (MIX) opened the Gartner EXP / Management Innovation Lab Hackathon at the Phoenix CIO Leadership Forum.  Gartner and Gary Hamel’s Management Innovation eXchange (MIX) have invited a select group of IT leaders to crack a key issue:

How IT can help organizations become more adaptable?

Gary Hamel, a globally recognized through leader on management innovation and founder of the MIX explains:

“All too often, by the time an issue gets big enough to attract the CEO’s attention, whether an opportunity or a threat, it’s too late to do anything but react. Thus the vast majority of corporate “change” programs are “catch-up” programs. Change needs to happen a whole lot faster and a whole lot cheaper than it does now.  To put it simply, strategic adaptability is an attempt to maximize the following ratio.

As the pace of change accelerates, so must the pace of strategic renewal. Indeed, one of the most important questions for any enterprise today is this:

Are we changing as fast as the world around us?”



That was the focus of the Hackathon we wanted to explore:

  • What are the practices and techniques that drive adaptability?
  • What are the challenges to becoming more adaptable?
  • What are the things IT leaders have done to drive adaptability that have worked in the real world?
  • What are the practical yet radical new ideas for how technology can spur the entire enterprise into becoming more adaptable?

The process involved three sprints around these issues.

  • The first sprint  concentrating on examples of strategic inertia mentioning various companies and strategic situations.
  • The second sprint  concentrated discussed and dissected the barriers that stand in the way of our organizations becoming more adaptable, and how technology might help us overcome them.
  • The final sprint concentrated on developing the management hacks that are published in the final report. Follow this link to DOWNLOAD THE FINAL REPORT


The eight management hacks in the final report captured innovative ways to change management to make an organization more adaptable.  These are the management hacks contained in the report.

  • Free Innovation Zones co-authored by Borge Teigland VP Global IT/CIO, Norske Skogindustrier ASA, working with Margaret Lam and Dimonekene Ditutala
  • Operating Unit Peer Reviews authored by Colin Cunningham CIO/Consultant working with Matthew Watson and Bard C. Papegaai
  • Social Networked Decision Making co-authored by Thierry Kuperman Le Bihan. Executive Partner, Gartner working with Matthew Watson, Michael Grove, Peter du Plooy, Anantha Sayana and David Clark
  • Who Let the Skunks Out? authored by Butch Walker VP of Technology, FamilyLife
  • A Chance for Change: Ringfence a Transformation Team authored by Peter Blackman, Global IT Business Partner Group Leader, Infineum UK, Ltd. working with Matthew Wilson and Peter du Plooy
  • Sparking Adaptability through Systematic Leadership Rotations authored by Jouni Selin, Head of ICT / Group CIO at Nordic Investment Bank / Nordic Finance Group.
  • Decentralizing the Capital Allocation Process authored by Tom Honan CIO, CapitalSource
  • Innovation Marketplace co-authored by Chris Bertelsen, Enterprise Architecture at Protective Life and Mike Proudlock, Head of IT at Carbon Trust working with Michael Grove

If any or all of the management hacks interest you please access the final report that includes unique links to each of these workspaces for these hacks.

The Hackathon has exceeded our original goals with more than 240 CIOs and senior IT executives from around the world registered and contributed to the hackathon.  I would like to personally thank all of the contributors mentioned above and everyone who has registered, read and contributed to this discussion. I would like to recognize the outstanding work of Michele Zanini and Chris Grams from the Management Lab for their support of the Hackathon.

Related Posts:

The Silent Crisis — Management

The Consumerization of Management – Part 1

The Consumerization of Management – Part 2 

Consumerization compliments and completes the other forms of management 


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Category: 2013  innovation  management  strategy  

Tags: 2013-planning  future-of-management  innovation  management  symposium  

Mark McDonald, Ph.D., is a Vice President and Fellow Emeritus in Gartner for General Managers Program.

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