Last Saturday’s Wall Street Journal carried a provocative column by Alan Murray, online executive editor and a thoughtful observer of management trends. “The End of Management” makes a compelling case for rethinking “the most important innovation of the 20th century,” as Peter Drucker called it, in light of relentless change that has knocked the wind out of many of our most venerated corporations.

This rethinking isn’t confined to fringe-element dreamers. Murray mentions Gary Hamel’s new venture ( as one of many more-mainstream operations that are examining what stays and what goes in the new reality.

If chief communications officers find the prospect of rethinking how organizations do what they do exciting, chances are good that they already are engaged in those efforts. They’re working with their senior-leader peers to take advantage of the new reality — employing technologies to encourage dialogue with everyone who is important to their organization’s success; making work life more relevant to today’s make-it-happen employees; and driving a return to their organization’s mission, vision and values as the starting point for new-strategy development.

If CEOs aren’t tapping this resource, they should know that as early as 2007 more than 30 CEOs of large-cap US and international companies, surveyed at random for the Arthur Page Society, had these kinds of expectations of their CCOs. No better time to take advantage of that talent than right now.