I was just reading my Sunday newspaper online,
and found this great summary by Gilbert Roox about Matthew Stewart’s book “The Management Myth: Why the Experts Keep Getting it Wrong”
The article is in Dutch, so i decided to use Google Chrome’s Translation extension.
So, here are some translated extracts, SLIGHTLY edited as the Google translate result was quite accurate. Impressive.
The management myth is a hilarious review of ten years in the Belly of the Beast. All the tricks of the fair will pass in review. For a client to win, you hunt him the fright. Then make themselves so indispensable that you no longer can think independently, and then they press the lemon patiently. “You should compare consultants with parasites” says Stewart. "I talked and talked, and meantime the meter ran,"
In all these years, the sensation that I sucked everything from my thumb never left me." Bruce Henderson, founder of the Boston Consulting Group, once described the consultant business as "the most incredible business on earth:"
Successful and leading companies hire school leavers to tell them how they should be run. And those companies are also prepared for those millions of opinions count down? "
Stewart called the pundits of McKinsey & Co “Modern shamans” : in the highly uncertain world of global competition drive them to fear the magic of their spreadsheets and charts. "If you can not manage, measure it," writes Stewart – a sneer to the home of McKinsey motto: "If you can measure, you can also manage".
Among the most successful CEO’s of Fortune 500 does not have an MBA fourth title. Success in business is simply not a hard science. Roughly revolves around three things: luck, you work hard and seize opportunities. Even then it can go wrong. But with such wisdom farmer earns a living not a management expert.
Management gurus such as Peters and Jim Collins(Good to Great) posing as prophets like, but after closer inspection they appear mainly to be the specialists of the past. They promote experimentation and out of the box thinking, while their best sellers but only document worn paths. A good advice: if you want money, then do just the opposite of what management gurus say, advises Stewart.
Management gurus seem more like religious preachers. The world they paint is invariably chaotic and uncertain, because fear sells. Bureaucracy is the great evil, and they call for a white collar revolution to overthrow that. Repetitively, they tell the poor middle class to thunder, because "you have the power".
Success is about passion;
With his plea for excellence the guru paves the path of a crazy work ethic that “starts with the notion that work can be meaningful, and that thought is stretched to the point where outside work is no longer significant”.
While most people only work
for a good bit to live
Hence the remarkable opinion of Matthew Stewart to youth who want to get an MBA:
"Stay away from the business schools
to study philosophy rather
to know the real life"
"In business, experience is the great teacher. We deceive ourselves if we think that an MBA makes you an energetic manager. Managers learn to manage not very different from teaching people how to live in a civilized world.
Managers do not need training,
they have educational needs
I just ordered the book. Looks like some good counter-weight for the other stuff i am reading, and will prepare me for the Lean exercise that our Innovation Team will go through as from begin February 2010.
The balance is probably somewhere in between.