In April 2007 while vacationing in Tervuren, I took an afternoon to drive out to see Luc Hoebeke at his home outside Leuven, Belgium. Luc and I sat on his patio in some historically warm spring weather (above 80F) amongst a small brook, the birds and his neighbor’s lawn mower. I never intended to release the interview, which was primarily done as part of my interest in an article which he wrote. I have to tip my hat to him for his wonderful hospitality and willingness to spend an entire afternoon in the heat speaking in English.
I really enjoyed talking with him and hearing this thoughts on management. He’s one of the most interesting thinkers in management consulting today, and has some radical ideas about intellectual property in the new economy, the real purpose of CEOs, and the emergent nature of work. Like a few other people in the field, Luc combines work from Elliott Jaques, Stafford Beer and others to create a very different way of looking at the problems of organizing work. Here’s a small taste from the article that drew me to talk with him:
One does not need to pamper level 4 innovators by protecting them from the ongoing business. The quality of their innovative endeavours is enhanced by the frustrations they experience in their confrontations with level 3 people.
Luc’s a controversial thinker among the RO folks, and this is sure to start some conversations. I hope that these podcasts will help others understand what he is saying, so that the disagreements can be part of a fruitful conversation.
The Manasclerk Company in the process of cleaning it up (we were outside, and his neighbor really did start his mower just as we started recording) and removing the inanities on my part, leaving mostly just his thinking, which is fascinating. If you’re in IT or argue against hierarchies, you may be interested in what he has to say.
We should have the first approximately 30 minute episode available next week.