The Visible Hand: A New Compliance Model

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In an article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review, entitled “First Let’s Fire All the Managers”, author Gary Hamel writes about the concept that “Management is the least efficient activity in your organization.” He articulated that this inefficiency is derived from a top-heavy management model that many companies employ, “that is both cumbersome and costly.” While his article is focused on a supplier business I found some of his concepts could lead to a more robust, dynamic and agile compliance program.

Hamel described one of the functions of managers is to “amalgamate thousands of disparate contributions into a single product or service.” This effect was termed by business historian, Alfred Chandler Jr. as the “visible hand.” But Hamel posed the question, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could get the freedom and flexibility of an open market with the control and flexibility of tightly knit hierarchy?”

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