Trying to learn from their (our) mistakes

Henry Mintzberg in Toronto’s Globe and Mail had some interesting thoughts on our current economic issues.  Like the complete failure of “management:”

What we have here is a monumental failure of management. American management is still revered across much of the globe for what it used to be. Now, a great deal of it is just plain rotten – detached and hubristic. Instead of rolling up their sleeves and getting engaged, too many CEOs sit in their offices and deem: They pronounce targets for others to meet, or else get fired.

On “planning:”

To get bailed out yet again, the auto companies have to offer plans. No problem: American companies specialize in making plans. It’s the execution that’s been the problem. (Remember those grand auto shows, with all their exotic cars that never made it to market? That was “planned obsolescence.”) These companies couldn’t succeed by doing, so how are they supposed to succeed by planning?

And on the approach to “fixing” it (health care metaphor noted):

What we have is a government that palliates: It provides geriatric medicine to its oldest, sickest enterprises in a country that requires pediatric and obstetric medicine for its young and vibrant enterprises, the ones that create the jobs, not eliminate them.

Here: 1) get out of the office and walk around; 2) stop planning, start doing; and 3) innovation works, encourage it.

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