The Flawed Premise of Incrementalism

Most of the business leaders we have produced since the end of WWII have had a belief and a grounding in the principles of incrementalism and process efficiency. They grew up as managers and then became leaders by invoking the tightly constraining economic principles of control, zero defects and narrow tolerances. They emphasized the science of management and believed good strategic planning would produce superior, recurring results. Their narrow perspective and intellectual naiveté, suggested that wise men could create a strategic plan created scientifically on a foundation of facts and precedents, and that their superior blueprints need only then be executed.