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Why we cannot learn a damn thing from Semco, or Toyota

The future of work is already here. Not only in the minds of some outstanding thinkers, high-minded idealists, quirky innovators and lofty utopians – or people like you who are reading this blog! No, the future of work and organizational leadership is tangible. It is out there in the real world: You can find it in the practice of a few dozen extraordinary, pioneering organizations that have cracked the code, solved the puzzle, removed all doubt. I’m talking about “the Toyotas” of this world. The W.L.Gores, the Southwest Airlines, the Googles, the Handelsbankens, the Semcos. Companies like these have been doing things differently for 20, 30, 40 or even 50 years, in the case of Toyota. Yeah, we heard all that before! you say? Then I ask you: And what have we really learned from these incredibly great companies?

 

For over 15 years, I have researched, thought, spoke and written about what I like to call “organizational transformation”. By that I mean the transition “from pyramid to peach”, “from centralization to de-centralization”, “from top-down management to outside-in leadership”. I have written entire books and papers filled with the stories of the Toyotas of this world. I have explained their cases and described their unusually smart practices, their principles and discoveries on the way of transformation. I have documented, analyzed and put into context their unique characteristics. Many other authors and experts have done similar stuff. However: I cannot honestly claim that these highly impressive case stories have “worked” for my audiences or clients as much as I would have hoped. Sure, people feel somewhat “inspired” and “motivated” when hearing about the amazing things that happen at Valve, Zappos, Netflix, MorningStar, Favi or DaVita. And when they learn about how much management stuff they might previously have considered inevitable simply doesn’t exist within those pioneer organizations.

 

At some point, however, I stared asking myself why these wonderful firms have not succeeded in persuading others to follow their example. Why has almost nobody dared to follow in their footsteps? The following anecdote about Ricardo Semler, owner and chief visionary of the trail-blazing “democratic” Brazilian company Semco may illustrate the problem: A few years ago, after two international bestselling books and some 20 years of traveling the international “speaker´s circuit”, Semler got so frustrated about nobody following the example set by his company (apart from one small Indian firm) that he took every single copy of his books he had at his home, including all translations, into the garden – and set them ablaze.

 

To be sure: Everyone is amazed by those few exceptional organizations They are WOW!, right? But that another company follows their lead seems to be a different matter, entirely. That doesn’t happen very often, if at all. It is no coincidence that we are constantly calling these firms “outliers”, “radicals”, “ground-breaking”, “extraordinary”, “radicals” or “exotic”. We remind ourselves that they are somehow not from this world. They stake out land that appears unknown and foreign to us. “That would never work for us here,” we say. “We’re just not ready for that.” Or “I could never swing that with my team.” and “We went to visit them and had a look; it sure was fascinating, but their approach is just not right for us.” How often have I heard those kinds of comments. The most horrific quote of all being: “It’s a long, long road to really get there.”

 

For a long time, this seemed to be a contradiction to me. On the one hand, the world of the pioneers really exists – like some continent of copious vegetation. In most people’s perception, however, there seems to be no way of entering that secret garden. That land of milk and honey remains out of reach, and foreign, too. In the meanwhile, pioneers like Toyota, Gore, Sweden´s Handelsbanken or Germany´s dm-drogerie markt keep telling us that there is, really, nothing magic about what they are doing!

 

And then it hit me. The trouble with embracing the examples of Semco, Toyota and other pionieers like them may have nothing to do with the pioneering organizations themselves. Nor with what other people think about them – those “other people” being the majority of bosses, managers, company owners and employees. Managers may neither lack the courage to transform, nor are they likely to be all scared about the losing control, or the unknown. Maybe, I thought, maybe we cannot learn from pioneers like Semco or Toyota because the good example is not the point!

 

Niels Pfläging_Warum wir von Semco und CO nichts lernen können_Abbildung_EN
The difference between Theory X and Theory Y.

 

What I mean is this: When talking about organizational leadership, even the best example just doesn’t help! At least not as long as one, almost magic ingredient for change, or transformation, is missing. And that magic ingredient is our image of human nature, the way we think about people around us, and what drives them. Not just the trust we place in other people is key, but whether we trust them to be self-motivated, driven by the need for self-fulfillment, and capable of self-organizing within boundaries and team settings. One of my heroes, organizational scientist Douglas McGregor was the first to figure out the power of that crippling, and misleading image of human nature that we hold in our heads and hearts about other people, around 55 years ago. McGregor then coined it “Theory X”. The puzzling truth is that, after all this time, the mistaken idea of Theory X thinking still firmly remains part of our belief systems. Even through Theory X works against our best interest, in keeping our organizations stuck in command-and-control mode, driven by top-down, tayloristic management.


What we should have learned from McGregor and from his denouncement of the Theory X prejudice, is that neither managers nor employees are the problem when it comes to org change and transformation. The problem is our thinking, really. Our flawed assumption about what makes other people tick. About how the physics of motivation, leadership and change work. Theory X makes us believe that “first our people have to change, and then we can change the system”. And that is precisely upside-down. The habit of mistrust that is Theory X feeds from our observing other people´s behavior within given contexts. As long as we operate in command-and-control mode, people will usually show obedient, dependent, or even idiotic behavior. Only once we change the system away from command-and-control, people can develop intelligently aligned behavior patterns, such as those associated with self-organization, empowerment and entrepreneurial responsibility. The problem is that each of us individual keeps thinking: “Yeah, yeah, I got that, things could be way better. But my peers, colleagues and bosses obviously haven’t gotten it at all – just look at how they behave! Until they change, we cannot change anything!” Until we overcome this pattern of thinking, which I call the “individual-smarts-collective-stupidity trap”, the world of alternative, superior org models and transformation will remain a distant dream of a better future.

 

In the meanwhile, ironically, it is actually possible that the pioneers of better org models may even hinder organizational progress and transformation, overall, by being turned into an case for stagnation for other organizations that are stuck in command-and-control. “Look, what happened at Semco and Toyota was possible only because they were already prepared to make it work! Because they had a different kind of human material there that made it all possible. We cannot do that here – our people are not prepared the way they were!” And so the good example becomes a barrier to change.

 

There is no bridge to the promised land of better, bolder, more agile and contemporary org leadership. No one will ever build a bridge there. And nobody really needs that kind of bridge at all. Because we can all beam ourselves there. Our organizations can be flipped into that land of milk and honey, within the twinkling of an eye, as soon we all stop thinking about other people as “Xers”. We do not need more examples for this, we need to correct our thinking. As for Semco, Toyota and the likes: Their example remains noteworthy and potentially inspiring for all of us. Their wonderful stories and practices will remain impossible to emulate, however – as long as we keep carrying around fundamentally screwed-up notions about other people´s human nature.

 …

Photo Credit: Pexels



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Comments

  1. Ilja Preuß am

    Very true. The Fundamental Attribution Error at work, I would say.

    Any idea how to overcome that?

    Maybe what is needed is “internal examples”, instead of just more external ones. That is, small experiments inside the company, where we can experience how the existing employees show different behavior in a different structure/environment, without having to implement a change that’s too scary?

    Reply
    • Niels Pflaeging am

      Hi Ilja. Internal examples help just as little as external ones. They do not convince because “our people here are different”, “we are different” and the like. Experiments, or Flips are one way to get going, of course, combined with “capsuling” (see my latest book in German). But what is needed, too, is making the internal human nature assumptions explicit: Talk about them, articulate them, debate them, clarify them, establish menes and rituals to keep them in everybody´s minds at all times.
      In your last question, you are also repeating one of those old mantras that actually inhibit change, by stating that “change is scary”. Which it is not. The unknown can be scary. Not change. Mixing that up actually creates barriers to change. See how you just killed the possibility of change? 😉
      On a sidenote: That is why I find the book title “Fearless Change” rather terrible, wrong and damaging actually.
      Does this make sense to you, Ilja?

      Reply
  2. Niels Pflaeging am

    Hi Ilja. Thanks for commenting!
    Well, if “internal examples” worked, then why don´t know any cases in which transformation “jumped over” from one part of an org to another. Why do “agile success stories” not induce other teams to emulate (or very rarely)?
    I figure internal examples might work just as well as external examples….
    But that is subject to debate, of course!

    Reply
  3. Chris Blaschka am

    Very true, Niels!
    Additionally I found out that the majotity of managers doesn’t have a clue, what their people actually do, which problems they face daily and what really drives them. So they just estimate – according to their view of the (human) world. So they probably behave “Xy” because they See “X”

    Reply
    • Niels Pflaeging am

      Exactly Chris. Managers mistake behavior for “X” behavior (due to all kinds of reasons), and they then “react” in ways that makes sure that people will behave in “Xy” fashion It all begins with the attribution error Ilja mentions. One might call it the “observation trap”! Or as they say in the US: It´s pretty fucked up! 🙂

      Reply
  4. Ingo am

    Yes, it’s almost magic … thx for your inspiration. The ‘magic movement’ continues …

    Reply
  5. Hans-Juergen Sturm am

    very interesting read – thanks Niels. So in consequence no more conferences with best or good practices? But than the question remains how to change the perceiption from X to Y? We identified the root cause but how to change it? Ideas?

    Reply
    • Niels Pflaeging am

      Hans-Juergen, I think your conclusion about best practice conferences is spot-on.
      And yes: The question remains how to end the Theory X prejudice and firmly establish Theory Y thinking. The good thing is that there are many answers to that. Don´t you think?

      Reply
  6. Cecil am

    Thanks for this enlightening article. However I’m not sure Toyota is a manager free organization like Zappo for instance. It’s a bossy free org culture though, yet management is instrumental in its success.

    Reply
    • Niels Pflaeging am

      Thanks for your feedback, Cecil!
      As for your question about Toyota: Firstly, Zappos is not “manager free” – that whole claim is nonsensical and confusing.
      Your calling Toyota “bossy free” leaves me a bit puzzled, I admit, but it does not seem like an appropriate description of the Toyota org model at all. It actually sounds quite a bit like hugte misinterpretation. You know what I mean? Much of what today we call Lean, Agile, Kazin, Kanban and the like has come straight out of Toyota. That, for sure, all is not appropriately labelled “bossy free” (whatever that is supposed to mean).
      I often find that people from Europe and from the Americas (including the US of course) are quick to judge any Japanese company based on just a prejudiced hunch of knowledge about Japan and JApanese culture. Nothing could be more inappropriate in the case of Toyota. Which is why I often recommend to read books about Toyota like “Freedom from Command and Control” by John Seddon or “Profit Beyond Measure” by Thomas Johnson.

      Reply
  7. Ralf Metz am

    Niels, thank you so much for this article! I really feel flashed at the moment, as it’s exactly also our understanding of what a company needs to change things. A fundament, on which the whole human interaction is based on.
    And we’ve learned over the time, that this fundament is based on shared idea of man / Human Nature.

    @Ilja: Also to get back to your question. Our way to get there, is to define with a company a certain direction and goal of that, what they like to achieve. This is the classical from outside to inside approach.
    But then, we flip this into from inside to outside.
    This means:
    * First, it’s all about ME. Who I am? What are my strengths? And for which sake should I consider to change something? That’s the most important questions as human beings are usually best motivated if they know, what are the benefits for themselves
    * Then, we continue with the question, how are YOU? How are other persons? What might drive them? What are their strengths? And how can I adapt my actions and reactions in the interaction with others based on having in mind, for which reasons I’m going to do this.
    * After that’s common sense, we can focus on the defined goals of a company. This could be a strength-based leadership, a sales approach based on the understanding of myself and others or as well as communication and collaboration.

    As it was named very nicely in the first AUGENHÖHE Movie: Create an atmosphere and frame so that changed actions can be transformed into an attitude.

    And one more thing 🙂 Usually, a human being is ready for a change, if it really hurts. And it’s from our experience the best motivation for companies, too. Which means, as long as existing systems are working somehow, most companies won’t change.

    Or in other words – following to the matrix of Eisenhower (important & urgent), companies often acknowledge that it’s important to do this or that – but not urgent. And most companies focus on urgent / important & urgent.

    Reply
  8. Sis Joynson am

    To move from theory X to theory Y we must change management mind set. I posted the comments on a previous thread on this subject.
    This is without doubt the most difficult element in the process of introducing TPS. I did not fully understand this myself for the first five years of my own TPS journey. On my early visits to Japan I had seen that TPS was designed to achieve three main flows. From the combination of these flows Toyota had generated a torrent of competitive advantage. —

    — 1) JIT/JIDOKA. The output of a smooth flow of existing & new products to customers. This must give them; what they want, when they want it, in the quantity they want. The output of your organisation has three main dimensions P, S and E; P, physical products. S, the services you provide to support them. E, the experiences (physical & emotional) your customers will enjoy when using them & in all their direct & indirect contacts with your organisation. Your goal is to produce the best values of; Productivity, Quality, Cost (lowest ownership cost), Delivery (OTIF), & customer Delight in your industry. —

    — 2)TPM. The smooth flow of materials, products & services through machinery, processes & systems. In this area the goal is to achieve Zero 5D’s. Zero – Downtime. (Unplanned). Zero – Delays. Zero – defects. Zero – Damage /Danger to people. — We must move from 2F’sto 2P’s. From finding & fixing problems, to predicting them & preventing their occurrence.

    — 3)KAIZEN. The flow of people’s talent & creativity to drive the waste elimination & continuous improvement process. The goal in this area is to release & focus the total ability of all our people to achieve the goals in the first two areas. —

    In the late 1980’s & early 1990’s, the tools & techniques I had learnt always worked, but we had difficulty sustaining the process. (Sounds familiar).What I had missed was the system for managing & sustaining the fourth flow, the flow of change itself. This is the main function of the management team. Once we identified this missing element, we created a skill set to give managers the 3 A’s, awareness, attitudes & abilities to do this. As there wasn’t a Toyota word for it, we called the material we created;
    — 4) TAOZEN . This is the management system to identify, create & sustain the flow of the correct changes throughout the organisation. The central theme of Taozen is; ‘Star managers make their people shine.’
    The role of the manger is not only to demonstrate their own ability, but more importantly to release and focus the talent, creativity and enthusiasm of the people they lead. —
    The system also requires a fundamental change in attitude within the organisation. The traditional organisational structure has the directors at the apex of the pyramid, with everyone else beneath them. The Taozen system requires the pyramid to be inverted. Directors now support managers, who then support their people who will then identify & support the needs of their customers. —

    Before we start a programme we insist the senior management team have two days to study this subject. This will give them a common understanding & vocabulary for their role in creating & sustaining the change process/environment to support the introduction of TPS. —

    I find this concept of the four flows gives a clearer understanding of the overall process/nature of the TPS/Lean journey. It also helps everyone to understand their role within it.
    The survival of your organisation depends upon improving these flows and your P, S and E’s faster than any existing or future competitor. These 23 words are arguably the perfect business success plan. You should explain them to your managers and colleagues.
    ————————————-

    Reply
  9. Irene am

    What you describe provides mgrs with a very save stance for going into change or actually (intentionally?) failing at it. It allows them to try the new thing a little and if they don’t like it just claim that it can’t be done because things/ppl are too different. No harm done because they already knew before it wouldn’t work.
    It requires someone who doesn’t mind failing and risking his career to really go new ways.

    Reply
  10. Srikanth Ramanujam am

    I come with a different philosophy where everything contrary is true. That would mean both Theories X and Y are true, as well as every gray area between them is also true. To introduce Theory Y, some firm believers at the top need to use Theory X to push the organizational change to Theory Y model until such time that culture change is self-sustaining.

    In fact, I believe in System 1 thinking propagated by Daniel Kahneman, and based on that believe nobody really wants to do work – Theory X or Y, the lazy brain wants to do the least amount of work and get away with it! So even is culturally aware Theory Y organizations, you need some Theory X management to sustain that culture and belief!

    Reply
    • Niels Pflaeging am

      Dear Srikanth, thanks for writing!
      I appreciate your comment. However: I think you misunderstood what Theory X and Theory Y are really about. Which is why you reached an absurd conclusion. That absurd conclusion being that Theory X is “true”. With all due respect: That conclusion is nonsense, because we actually “know” that Y is the better theory than X, and (!) the two theories are mutually exclusive. A comparison that comes to mind is when Isaac Newton “discovered” gravitation – a theory about the phenomenon of “falling” that swept away all previous theories about that phenomenon of falling. Among them being Aristotle´s theory that “everything comes from earth and has the natural desire to return to it.”. Newton´s theory was superior. And similar to that theory )which comes from the realm of natural science), Theory Y is clearly the superior, and accurate theory about what one might call “human nature”. By the way: If Theory X were “true”, then slavery would be morally fine. Which it isn´t.
      I hope this makes sense to you.

      Reply
  11. Patrick Verheij am

    Great article, Niels!

    I am helping organizations go through the “transformation” you mention, foremost by addressing the mindset. I notice that people often just need some love, attention and practical insight to get where they need to be.

    To respond to snippets of your post in that matter:

    “As long as we operate in command-and-control mode, people will usually show obedient, dependent, or even idiotic behavior.”

    What I am looking for in any organization is that kind of behaviour. Then I challenge it. When people complain about passive behavior (a populard wor among managers to describe their subordinates), I tend to ask “could you give a very specific example of where that happens and who are involved? That often already triggers the right discussion.

    “Only once we change the system away from command-and-control, people can develop intelligently aligned behavior patterns, such as those associated with self-organization, empowerment and entrepreneurial responsibility.”

    Change it…into what? Inside-out leadership, like you pledge? Awesome! But what does that look like? How do you ‘let go’ command and control and…who should actually let go? Just the managers or everybody? Command and control is not just a thing you can execute. There are also plenty people who command and control their peers.

    “The problem is that each of us individual keeps thinking: ‘Yeah, yeah, I got that, things could be way better. But my peers, colleagues and bosses obviously haven’t gotten it at all – just look at how they behave! Until they change, we cannot change anything!'”

    The receiving end of command and control is called “passive behaviour”. Seeing it, but doing nothing about it. ‘Our analysts are just producing documents’, ‘Our architects claim our architecture’, ‘our management doesn’t have a vision’, ‘I don’t have time to attend a sprint review’, and so on. Most people just need some practical help on the work floor to change the way they think about their peers or the importance of what their teams do.

    “Until we overcome this pattern of thinking, which I call the ‘individual-smarts-collective-stupidity trap’, the world of alternative, superior org models and transformation will remain a distant dream of a better future.”

    As a coach, I try to influence that thinking. I fail often, both with others and with myself, but I keep trying because change is actually happening. Point is that many people don’t see it. As a coach, I visit a lot of teams and departments, while many people never leave the safety of their team or long time friends within the company.

    We need to persevere.

    Reply
    • Niels Pflaeging am

      Hi Patrick. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Those are great topics for further discussion!
      I would like to respond to two specific bits of your comment.

      Firstly: At the end of your comment you mention “many people never leave the safety”. That is a notion that many change agents (just like us) have developed. And it is wrong. The idea that “others cannot or do not want to change” or “will resist change” is a prejudice derived from observation and flawed interpretation. I know all about it because I made that mistake myself – for a long time! But it is the biggest trap in any change initiative. Let me repeat: This notion is wrong! There is no such thing as people resisting change. And the article here somewhat touches on that. For more, if you are interested, please read this article of mine: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/now-new-how-fo-flip-your-company-perpetual-beta-niels-pflaeging?trk=mp-reader-card
      Secondly: You suggest that it is not yet quite clear what the alternative to command-and-control looks like. I would counterargue that as well. I have published about this at length, and there is also a book I wrote about this called “Organize for Complexity”, but here´s a starting point into it: http://www.slideshare.net/npflaeging/special-edition-paper-organize-for-complexity-part-iii
      I hope this resonates with you, Patrick.

      Reply
  12. Benjamin Atkinson am

    Niels,

    Great article! I’ve been thinking a lot about this, recently.

    I currently consult to Toyota – North America on aspects of work design. It has been a fascinating experience. Having worked also for US auto manufacturers, I find the differences stark.

    Truly, Toyota has minimized their need for middle managers by pushing autonomy to those building the product. Team leaders and group leaders focus on ensuring that the Team Members have what they need to build the bests vehicle they can. What a contrast to the almost daily squabbles between the UAW, line workers and managers that I witnessed at another automaker.

    A question: Would an organization seeking change be wise to focus on a small group/department and dedicate time and resources to ensure success on a small scale. And then, point to this as a target for other departments and the organization, as a whole?

    Thank you for the enlightening article.

    Ben

    Reply
    • Niels Pflaeging am

      Hi Benjamin – thank you for this great and valuable contribution, and especially for hinting at the difference between Toyota thinking (and acting) and “management as usual” . I think I understand what the point you make on autonomy and leadership.
      On the other hand, the question you are asking about “small-scale change” or “whole systems change” is a tough one.In my book Organize for Complexity, I propose a tool for thinking through your “sphere of influence”, to figure out who is needed to make certain changes.
      Overall, changing entire organizations is both feasible and straight-forward, given the right method, and I would just add one hint: changing a system with 20 people is not “easier” at all than changing a system with 200.000 people. Sounds counter-intiuitive? Well, assuming that “the more people, the more difficult” is based on a misunderstanding. The challenge is exactly the same with 20 or 200.000! Why? Let´s assume for a moment that everyone needs something around 10.000 hours of disciplined practice (according to Malcolm Gladwell) to develop mastery. Well, then that´s roughly 10.000 for each of the 20 and each of the 200.000. Period. Some may start practicing earlier, some later. Which will again be the case with 20 and with 200.000…
      But to dig deeper into this, I think we need another article on the physics of change! 🙂

      Reply
  13. cuan mulligan am

    Hi, really liked the article. This is a journey we work with our clients on. If we can crudely label these as culture issues, quite often, transformations are started by change’s in its culture, however we believe that Culture follows the Structure, so we first need to establish a new structure in the organisation. To establish the organization’s purpose and design a structure that wholly supports that purpose. A new structure allows more Y-type behavior to be witnessed, which helps people shift from X thinking to Y, without this ability to experience people being more Y, people have lots of experience of X and can’t see Y being possible.

    Are you ever in London, be awesome to have a chat?

    Cheers
    Cuan

    Reply
    • Niels Pflaeging am

      Hi Cuan. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Glad you liked the article!
      I fully agree with you that culture is something like the “shadow” of an organization – something that can be observed, but not controlled. As for org structures: We published a nicely illustrated paper about the three (not one!) structures of every organization – a concept that we call Org Physics. This should be of interest to anyone engaged in org leadership, development and change: http://www.slideshare.net/npflaeging/betacodex11-the-3-structures-of-an-organization

      I figure I haven´t been in London for over a year now, but as a resident of Germany (near Frankfurt), London is never really far away!
      Regards from Germany and have a great week!

      Reply
  14. Julian Wilson am

    Nice article- but a bit “theoretical” and unsupported reflection.

    Is it a truism- that if you treat people according to Theory Y … so they behave?

    Have you actually turned around a Theory X organization… I have.
    What you suggest didn’t happen for us, the more Theory Y we applied, the more push back we got.

    Many of the people in our Theory X organization were committed X’ers; they tried VERY hard to return the organization to Theory X as we introduced more Theory Y. Few people actually made the change.

    Theory X approach is better suited to the soul-less, repetitive, industrial grind of mass manufacture.
    Today, the knowledge economy favours Theory Y. Theory X organizations are under increasing pressure.

    There is no need to try to bring change to Theory X companies; the world around them is changing and bringing along with it the pressure to change.
    They must adapt and change themselves or they will fly themselves into the ground (all too often the result).

    I’m not sure anything can, or should be done about that.

    Reply
    • Niels Pflaeging am

      Julian, I am happy that we agree that Theory X was well suited for the industrial age, and that Theory Y is the only way in the today´s world.
      If I understand your post correctly, than you have experienced trouble with bringing about intentional change in organizations you have been part of. My hint to you is that human nature hasn´t been the problem (because it cannot have been!) – the change method was! 95% of change method is top-down, steering, judging, under-complex… in short: illusory, inappropriate and wrong.
      So maybe (or very likely) this is what caused the failure you described.

      Reply
  15. Bruno Baketaric am

    Even though this article is already a bit aged, I’d like to add that Theory X and Y have a strong tendency to lead to a vicious circle – uhm, in the Y-case it’s not that vicious, obviously.

    If some manager believes his employees dislike work, avoid responsibility and so on, her/his management style will reflect this, leading to some Command&Control variant (like MbO). This will make employees – especially knowledge workers – dislike work, avoid responsibility […]; and the managers theory will be confirmed.

    Fortunately, it works the same way in the other direction. Let’s just shift to Y.

    Reply
  16. edster am

    Hi Niels, really insightful article, makes a great deal of sense to me. Only one thing I would quibble with is blaming Fredrick Taylor for a lot of our ills. I think when we complain about C&C organisations and cite Taylor as a culprit, it’s not actually deserved; even he suffered this during his work and called it Fake Scientific Management. Bob Emiliani covers this much better than I ever could here: http://www.bobemiliani.com/lean-hypocrisy/. This doesn’t take anything away from the value of your work though.

    Reply
    • Niels Pflaeging am

      Thank you for your comment!
      I think you are completely right about the mistake of blaming Frederick Taylor for things he did not do or did not even remotely intend. I hope I did not follow that blaming pattern in my article here – because Taylor is actually one of my heroes, and I like to highlight that whenever I can.
      So the article is certainly not (menat to be) about blaming Taylor, but of putting today´s organizational models in perspective.
      Thank you for the article recommendation – I will certainly read it!

      Reply

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