Henry Mintzberg about Rebalancing Society


Rebalancing Society

Years have passed since ManageMagazine, with Hildebrandt & Brandi, invited members and friends to a day with Henry Mintzberg in Copenhagen.

It was a beautiful sunny day in May.

The world of ‘a day in May’ anno 2024 looks much different – we’ve passed a global pandemic and are facing a ‘new tomorrow’ where many of us have been searching for new ways, approaches, and solutions for facing this new world in ways that respect people, organizations, and the planet.

Talking about Rebalancing Society is in this light as relevant as ever and we hope you will enjoy this evergreen from Professor Henry Mintzberg.

Here’s a couple of our favorite points made by Mintzberg, which we hope you’ll remember:

From Leadership to Communityship

The point made by Mintzberg is that you may work in the private sector, you may vote in the public sector, yet you live in the plural sector.

We all live in the plural sector and interact with several organizations in just a single week, whether you engage yourself and your time as a volunteer, donate to charity, or belong to clubs. In this sense, there are all kinds of things people can do as individuals as well as under the corporate umbrella.

I recognize leadership; I’m a fan of communityship

I see it as a leadership task moving forward, yet I’m not a big fan of leadership. I think we need leadership, I recognize leadership; I’m a fan of communityship, says Mintzberg.

We tend to overemphasize leadership at the expense of communityships!

Talking about leadership makes us think of one person, he points out. Yet leadership is not about a hero riding in on a shining white horse. Read this entertaining article by Henry Mintzberg, which will make you both think and smile:

Henry Mintzberg about some Half-Truths of Management

“How often have heroic leaders ridden into established organizations on great white horses, only to fall into black holes? New organizations may need aggressive leadership, but most others need engaged management—quiet, humble, thoughtful”, says Mintzberg.

Engagement on the Ground

Who is more likely to recognize the need for new solutions than those on the ground? They interact with people who are searching for solutions to their problems.

And so the idea for IKEA furniture came about – from a guy who was, again and again, helping people get their newly bought furniture to fit into their cars so they could transport it home safely. He would, for instance, disassemble a dining table – taking off its legs – so it could fit the specific car. A so-called ‘shift’ was made as the company recognized the need for furniture people could assemble at home. A new business model was born.

Can you recognize a ‘shift’ in your own company? If not, then ask your people on the floor and encourage engagement from the ground up. It’s a much-overlooked opportunity for organizations to flourish and meet the needs of their users.

You can read more about engagement on the ground in this article by Professor Henry Mintzberg:

Henry Mintzberg: Transformation from the Top? How about Engagement on the Ground?


We hope you’ll like this re-visit to an evergreen video where Henry Mintzberg shares his vision of Rebalancing Society.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section


If you are interested in reading the original article about this event where ManageMagazine invited all ManageMagazine members to join us for free at this Mintzberg Event please see Mintzberg at ManageMagazine Copenhagen Event.


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