This article argues that technology and innovation is useless without also adopting new ways of managing and leading people.


Leadership and innovation writer, Steve Denning, believes we are living in ‘a golden age of innovation’. But Denning argues that this golden age (or ‘digital age’) is about more than just technology; it’s a combination of both new technology and a radically different kind of management. We have learned over recent years that few benefits come from new technologies unless there is also a different mindset towards managing. Denning argues that once new technology and management are both in place, then dramatic benefits start appearing along three dimensions:

  1. The combination of new technology and new ways of running companies is changing most of our lives, even those in developing countries.
  2. It has changed the workplace for the better. When those doing the work collaborate through self-organizing teams focused on delivering customer valuework can be more meaningful.
  3. Innovation can be very profitable for organizations. For instance, Microsoft made a commitment in 2014 to a more people orientated management style under Satya Nadella. Since implementing this different way of running the company, Microsoft has added $1.5 trillion to its market capitalization.

This new ‘meta-model’ of management isn’t yet universal, but extraordinary gains are being made by organizations that have embraced it.