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The Mix

If you feel the need to ‘get creative’ around the management of your business than you should take a look at the Management Innovation eXchange or The MIX. The MIX bill themselves as “an open innovation project aimed at reinventing management for the 21st century”. A tall order, however, the MIX has been in place since 2008 and has included input from some of the best management thinkers in the world today. The first thing that stands out is that these big-thinkers have associated themselves with an organisation that from the outset states: “Current management practices emphasize control, discipline and efficiency above all else — and that’s a problem. To thrive in the 21st century, organizations must be adaptable, innovative, inspiring and socially accountable. That will require a genuine revolution in management principles and practices”. It is quite refreshing to see that control, discipline and efficiency have been described as “a problem”!

The MIX relies almost entirely on input from external sources in the form of articles, blogs and videos. These are sorted into: 1. Stories – real-world case studies, 2. Hacks – bold ideas and 3. Barriers – tough challenges. Each of the entries tends towards one of the set of founding principles defined as Moonshots, the make-or-break challenges that are facing managers today.

The article that caught our attention and led us to The Mix in the first place, “The end of performance management (as we know it)” is typical of the style of articles you will find. Starting with a combative title and then going on to build on a new theory to do something in a different way. This articles do not present fly-by-night theories from individuals who may simply want a soap-box for their views. They are considered and present evidence to back up the theories. In the instance of the previous mentioned article, the evidence came from management practice within Statoil (a large Norwegian energy company) and, interestingly, from a road-traffic solution implemented in Drachten, Netherlands.

Where the articles almost always present an alternative view, it is generally recognised that business management (and measurement) is required, albeit in a different form. There will always be a need to measure, the questions has been extended from simply ‘what to measure’ to ‘how to measure’.