My Brand of Insanity – What is it? or What it is.

My brand of insanity can be characterized as a management paradox – a different way of thinking if you will.  I personally have been  known as:

  • The sand in the oyster
  • The note that goes sour
  • The ant in the picnic
  • The fly in the ointment
  • The snake in the woodpile
  • The hitch in the giddy-up (my wife’s favorite)
  • The pain in the neck
  • The run in the stocking
  • The snag in the zipper
  • The crimp in the writing
  • The hole in the sidewalk
  • and the gum on the shoe.

A tag not aspired to . . . but one that goes with the territory.

See I abhor bad service.  Not because of the employees that are typically blamed for bad service, but because of the systems they work in.  Let’s refer to them as command and control systems.

What is a command and control system?
Organizations that have a top-down hierarchy, work designed in functional areas (scientific management born from Frederick Winslow Taylor), decision-making separated from the work (from Alfred P. Sloan), the use of measures with targets (budgets, activity, productivity, standards, etc.) in management decision-making.

What organizations use the command and control management style?
Well, let’s see.  I would say just about every red-blooded U.S. service organization (public and private sector).

So what is wrong with command and control management?
It doesn’t work very well.  Not anybody’s fault, it is just the way we have all learned to manage.  The problem is we haven’t changed our management methods in over 100 years.  Are we dinosaurs or what?

Are there better methods?
Yes, and I will reference it as “systems thinking” in future blogs.  A combination of W. Edwards Deming, Taiichi Ohno and intervention theory.

What’s the difference between command and control vs. systems thinking?
Every thing that you have learned from scientific management theory and change management programs . . . do the opposite.  OK, that might be a little severe, how about 95% opposite.

I hope you will find my blogs challenging, controversial, infuriating, and enlightening.  My aim is to achieve this by making you curious to learn more.  It’s my only hope . . . before the people in white uniforms find me.

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