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Ralph Sink on How to Bring Back High-Performance Management

Participative management has proven its remarkable capabilities again and again. So why is it passing into obscurity?

Date: January 16, 2009

Podcast #: 09-03



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“The high-performance systems approach — also known as self-organizing teams and participative management — endows people throughout an enterprise with the skills, understanding, processes, and authority they need to make their own decisions on behalf of quality and business success, instead of having all the ideas and commands flow from the top,” writes Ralph Sink in his thought-provoking article “My Unfashionable Legacy,” published in Strategy+Business. “Despite the successes of high-performance systems, the concept is less fashionable in management circles than it used to be… The next generation of managers, particularly on the operations and shop-floor side, don’t always have the skills and training to design, create, and lead high-performance systems, and there’s a real danger that this knowledge could be lost entirely. Now is the time for my colleagues and me to cast our minds back and distinguish, once and for all, the factors that made us succeed.”

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