At AgileLeanHouse our vision is to see organizations getting better at creating value for those they serve. We try to move towards that vision in a number of ways by offering education, services and tools. Now there is a new initiative
Is it really possible to reclaim the territory in our organizations that have been lost to neo-Taylorists? I am convinced that we can, and we will end this article with the first steps in that direction. But before we start to see light, it has to get even darker.
There is another book on the domination of “reason” in the West, I would like to mention. It is called “Voltaire’s Bastards” by Canadian author John Ralston Saul. While it is quite in line with “The Puritan Gift”, that I mentioned in the first article, indeed it sheds new light on some of the examples mentioned in that book, its 640 pages leaves you utterly depressed, not wanting to get up in the morning – the world sucks.
The first article on this subject was a bit short and I would like to give some more background and detail. Before 1900 there was not much theory or anything about management or leadership, the only large institutions known in the West were the royal courts, the military and the Catholic church – all quite top-heavy.
The late 1800s in the US were characterized by a proliferation of industrial robber barons, exploiting every man and his dog. The situation had been the same 75 years earlier in the UK, famously described for example in Charles Dickens’ writings. But many industrialists were not like that and took social responsibility for employees and society to some extent.
The first two thirds of the 20th century represented the golden age of American business including a fairly enlightened leadership style, that took a sad turn for the worse at the end of the century, ending in the rise of the Imperial CEO. We cover the story here:
The institutions in Western society are in a deep leadership crisis. The way governments, organizations and businesses manage their affairs obviously does not work in a sustainable way. An erosion of mutual trust is in progress these years and a managerial totalitarianism is in full development. This series of articles explores the background, the consequences and a plausible way forward.
We have a new article or whitepaper in the works, about the so-called 4W pattern, read the first version here…