Archive for the ‘Management As Cargo Cult’ Category

The Story Of Sammy

I was once introduced to an expatriate, let us call him Sammy, who proudly identified himself as a “businessman”. The business in question was Import-Export. It all sounded very grand, but what it all boiled down to was that Sammy spent his days in a squalid little office full of junk that he had successfully […]

Posted on March 6, 2010 at 11:43 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, Management As Cargo Cult

Man Was Given A Brain That He Might Cover His Ass

The advent of the MBAs was supposed to enhance the efficiency of business; this is so only if we posit that a farmer who skins his sheep instead of shearing them is efficient. But there is no doubt that they have enhanced the efficiency of excuse production. The point of soliciting professional advice, whether from […]

Posted on March 7, 2010 at 09:33 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, Management As Cargo Cult

Climbing The Ladder

An average I.Q. is 100, by definition. Most of the readers of these essays, on meeting a person with an I.Q. of 100, will find him mentally rather slow; the rest are being charitable. And yet half the population, again by definition, will be even slower. Where are all these dummies? It seems unlikely that […]

Posted on March 8, 2010 at 10:16 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, Management As Cargo Cult

Reorganise To Fail

In the old days, companies endured, and most workers were hired by the day. Now, it is the other way around: most workers can expect to outlive half a dozen company names. Especially in former state-owned corporations, where frequent rebranding is confused with customer service. Work is currently something done in the odd minutes when […]

Posted on March 9, 2010 at 11:25 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, Management As Cargo Cult

Penny Wise, Pound Foolish

I once knew a manager who wanted me to do a translation for him. I used MS Word, whereas he swore by something called Ami-Pro. Now, I am reliably informed that he could have converted his Ami-Pro document to Word and sent it to me at the cost of about one minute of his time. […]

Posted on March 9, 2010 at 20:27 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, Management As Cargo Cult

Corprats At Their PCs

There are people alive and sitting at computer keyboards in the year 2010 who put a hard carriage return at the end of every line, as if they were using not only a typewriter but an ancient mechanical one. Can there really be secretaries who learned their keyboarding in the Sixties and who have never […]

Posted on March 10, 2010 at 12:07 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · One Comment
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, Management As Cargo Cult

We’re So Busy, We’re So Busy

If you call any public office or even private business, you will almost invariably hear the recorded phrases “We have a lot of traffic”, “Our lines are very busy right now” or some equivalent. Sometimes you get through and sometimes you hear it thirty times before giving up, and wonder whether or not it is […]

Posted on March 10, 2010 at 15:36 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · 2 Comments
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, Management As Cargo Cult

Human Non-Resources

At the time of writing, the Germans are shortening the working week of their skilled labour, the men and women who make their world-class capital goods; while the Americans are firing theirs. Even ‘The Economist’, normally in favour of anything that enriches managers and owners at the expense of labour, does not think the latter […]

Posted on March 10, 2010 at 22:54 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · 2 Comments
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, Management As Cargo Cult

The 419 And Business Excellence

Why are we not encouraging the “Nigerian Letter” as a paradigm of both successful entrepreneurship and foreign aid? On the first head, the spending of a few naira in Internet cafes can net an unemployed semi-literate tens of thousands of dollars; this is a return on capital that the business schools should be studying. As […]

Posted on March 11, 2010 at 12:08 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, Management As Cargo Cult

Towards a New Theory of Management

The conventional understanding of economics and business administration is that managers act so as to maximise profits. Disagreement seems confined to whether managers do or ought to maximise long-term profits at the expense of short-term profits; here it is assumed that the only counter-motive to the longevity of the firm is the short-range interests of […]

Posted on March 11, 2010 at 15:00 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · 4 Comments
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, Management As Cargo Cult