Management 4.x refers to a management style in a complex organization in a environment even more complex. How ever, in spite of their promising titles the current management styles and development seminars are rooted in the seventies with much lower complexity. At that time “teamwork” and “matrix organization” were important topics. Strategic management contained prognoses of the future and the scenario technique was more a academic discussion.
Nevertheless, Professor Hans Ulrich from the University of St. Gallen – the father of the “Systemic Management Philosophy” – doubted that management of a complex company could be possible (19778!) because the complexity of the organization and its environment is much higher than the complexity of the management; as Ashby said “only complexity destroys complexity”. However, his insight did not have much impact on management schools which since have continued to announce the same course content in there brochures.
Management 4.x is the philosophy of training management to thrive in complexity. For this a specific culture needs to be developed, a culture which is based on trust, self organization and professional standardization.