Management in the UK – ship of fools

Bruce Charlton:

All domains of human activity (including science, technology, academia, arts, law… everything) are now swamped by a majority of procedure-following people who are themselves cognitively unable to create – or even focus-upon, analyse and improve – procedures.

Yet these same procedure-following people are themselves called upon to create procedures!

That is, in other words, they are managers.

Yet they are cognitively incapable of managing; they cannot even understand what it is to manage – leave aside actualy do it!

Even-worse – since they are incapable of creating procedures but capable only of following procedures; they (unbelievably, but ubiquitously!) create procedures by committees and voting!

Add to this the post at OoL on A Train Conversation, which is a rewrite of the post last night here, and there emerges a poor picture of British so called “management”.

[H/T Chuckles]

2 comments for “Management in the UK – ship of fools

  1. Penseivat
    October 28, 2012 at 17:48

    A few years ago, a boat race was organised by two competing UK organisations – let’s call them Widgets Ltd and Dingbats and Son. Both teams worked very hard to be the very best and on the day of the race, were equally optimistic about the result. However, there was some suprise at the result when Dingbats and Son won by ten lengths. Morale was low at the headquarters of Widgets Ltd as no one could understand how the race was lost by such a great margin. Top management was determined to discover the cause and setup a project team to identify the cause and suggest any corrective measures. After weeks of investigation, the project team concluded that while Dingbats and Son had seven rowing officers and one steering executive, Widgets Ltd had one rowing officer and seven steering executives. The Directors of Widgets Ltd decided that immediate action needed to be taken and hired an external consultants to conduct an in-depth analysis on the team’s structure. Several weeks later, and at great expense, the consultants identified that too many team members had been steering and too few involved in actually moving the boat. The reaction of the Directors was to restructure the Widgets Ltd team to include four steering executive, two senior steering managers, one steering director and one rowing officer. Additonally, a sophisticated performance evaluation system to motivate the rowing officer, and get the best out of him, was implemented. The next year, another race was organised and Widgets Ltd were sure they could exact revenge for the previous year’s humiliation, especially as the composition of Dingbats and Son team was the same. The result was not what Widgets Ltd wanted as they lost by twenty lengths! The consequences of this was the Directors of Widgets Ltd sacked the one rower for his poor performance, the consultants were praised for doing a great job, the equipment was sold off and all related investment was frozen while the money not invested was distributed amongst the Directors and the steering committee in the form of performance bonuses. And this is the face of management in the UK today.

  2. Rossa
    October 29, 2012 at 14:53

    Just like these policy following creatures incapable of creating anything in the way of policies that are anyway the purview of the EU and those beyond pulling their strings.

    Soon we’ll have a blank sheet of paper with £1m then printed on it with which to buy our daily bread.

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