Tag Archives: scientific management

Failed Leadership of Talent

Reflect for a moment on how much money organizations, of all sizes, are spending each year on recruiting external talent through head hunters and/or employment agencies. Think about it. The very same organizations who have done such a poor job of identifying, developing and managing their own talent base, in a failed attempt to ensure access to a steady stream of qualified human capital, go outside and pay good money to identify able bodied outsiders. To make matters worse, those outsiders then get added into the same talent pool we know, by experience, is not being properly developed or managed in the first place, and so the cycle repeats itself, ad infinitum. It’s lunacy!

The right people to develop, though, are those who think differently:

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.