Great piece in yesterday's Observer by Simon Caulkin:
"…high priests of capitalism had failed to notice that while central planning had been largely discredited at a macroeconomic level, at microeconomic level it remained alive and kicking"
Echoes of my rant against the machine-metaphor in the last chapter of HERD: this metaphor – 100 years on from Fred Taylor – still dominates much management science. Efficiency, productivity, process and optimisation etc etc – all these come from this simple but addictive idea. Which organisation doesn't plan obsessively? Which do you know is planning less nowadays? Does your CEO tell the shareholders (and the other stakeholders of the business) stuff like, "we're not sure what's going to happen…."? Probably not – certainty in what will happen and the plan to meet it are essential fictions of today's CEO.
All of which leads to the bloating of the managerial classes in any large organisation
"Central planning imposes a huge co-ordination burden – which is why there is just so much management"
Curious then, as Caulkin observes, that when coupled with a fervent commitment by the same folk to laisser faire macroeconomics, we get oh….a total mess.
What's clear is that central planning of your organisation is unlikely to get you and yours out of this mess…