Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fad Management

"Chris attended a brainstorming retreat that resulted in a one-word mission statement. 'Our mission is food,'Chavez wrote triumphantly. Bemused, Chris wondered about the relevance but shrugged off any concern. Chavez knew best."

Miriam Pawel,The Union of Their Dreams

This vignette captures the absurdity and silliness of management fads combined with top-down control and happy compliance by people who should know better. What could one possibly do with a one-word mission statement? Chant? Get a tatoo? A bumper sticker?

You can see the malleable mind at work: grapes, wages, worker, boycott, supermarket, agriculture, sustenance, children, quality of life, poverty,etc. Of course, 'food' says it all.

Chavez and company were susceptible to multiple managmeent fads -- management by objectives, etc, all in an attempt to right the boat. No small problem given their successes and dramatic growth for a time.

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