Freeman Cebu Business

Management is replaced by ‘Co-creation’  

INTEGRITY BEAT - Henry J. Schumacher - The Freeman

Employees today don’t want to be managed, even benevolently. They want to be partners in co-creation, where all members are empowered to bring their whole selves to the organization regardless of hierarchies.

Consequently, those uncomfortably perched atop organizational hierarchies are faced with a stark choice: co-create or manage, because you cannot do both.

We need to move away from an emphasis on “management” and towards a focus on co-creation. In earlier columns, I said ‘managers have to become partners and mentors if progress is to be achieved.’

Co-creation will allow us to thrive in meeting the changing demands of key stakeholders like employees, customers and shareholders.

Even before the pandemic, there was a crisis of worker dissatisfaction, with millennials—the generation poised to make up the majority of our work force—viewing business as out of step with their priorities. And if we look at Generation X, the centennials, this change becomes even more important. Centennials don’t want to be told, they want to be part of the solution. Additionally, they want to work for companies in which sustainability is a priority.

Businesses must commit to a broader social purpose or face disconnected and unmotivated employees unlikely to stay in their jobs. Co-creation builds on that rare and valuable sense of connection emerging in the very best type of purpose-driven co-operative partnerships.

The feeling of connection is so important. I believe we will start to normalize viewing friendship as an essential work resource, since we now know that cooperation is not born of deep analytical calculations, but intuition and feelings.

Co-creation is not only about loosening the managerial reins on employees. The shift away from the stifling, controlling and outdated dominance of management in favor of co-creation is an absolute must for those organizations, even if the prospect makes some existing leaders uncomfortable.

Employees are demanding a more human-centric future, with space for trust and vulnerability. There is no going back to the “before world.” Management is being replaced by the era of co-creation.

I am excited about this change. What about you? Feedback is needed; please contact  me at [email protected]

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