Not long ago, I talked with Nicolas Sekkaki, from IBM. We actually had this kind of discussion, we were talking about the transformation of organizations, and.. how organizations structure themselves. He told something I loved, it was “my job, as a leader and as a manager, isn’t to tell everyone how he has to work, and to understand who has to be at which place inside my organization. Yet, I must give orders, I lead my team…”. He told me something I loved, he told me “the way I work, I try to create chaos. And this isn’t an easy thing, as you have to give people permission to take initiatives. But this way it can go very quickly. If I have to take time understanding who is able to do what in the structure, and to think to a lot of different things, to who I have to ask what and how I work, this won’t work.”
I liked a lot his way of seeing things, which is very modern, very collective intelligence. You create a certain amount of chaos, because you still need a structure, but you create a certain amount of chaos and look for what emerges. So the role of the leader, or of the manager, is to succeed in creating this chaos and in allowing people to organize this chaos by themselves.