A fad arises when some element of popular culture becomes enthusiastically embraced by a group of people.
Harder, by far, than picking the best management ideas of all time is picking the worst. In the 20 years that Management fads have been writing about these things, I have seen so many come and go that whittling the list down to the 10 most dismal, most damaging or most daft management fads of all time has been exceptionally challenging.
However, here are the ones that, in my view, merit inclusion. The list is in no particular order. This idea, made popular by Daniel Goleman in and still very much in vogue almost 20 years later, says that people Management fads can empathise with others do better.
It is a heartwarming theory and it would be awfully nice if the world were like this. The longevity of this fad tells us a great deal about the power of wishful thinking. This was invented at Hewlett-Packard in the s and then much favoured by the great guru, Tom Peters. I suppose I can vaguely see the point of it, if the alternative is having managers who never poke their noses out of their offices.
However, to expect constant wandering around to have any important effect on anything — apart from paranoia levels of staff and the shoe leather of managers — strikes me as gloriously wrong-headed. This one is so complicated and contains so many tricky equations that it can only be understood by the most expensive and highly specialised management consultants.
As far as I can understand it, Six Sigma is all about isolating and eliminating the causes of defects. There is nothing wrong with that in itself; it makes perfect sense. It was made big in the mids at Motorola, but other companies that enthusiastically espoused it quickly became bogged down in endless meetings and found they increasingly had trouble distinguishing wood from trees.
This was an ugly term for something blindingly obvious: It is a great idea in theory.
But it has two flaws that can make it very dangerous. The teamwork obsession started about 20 years ago and is still very much alive. This is also a fad that was introduced about a decade ago, and is currently at peak popularity. The idea is that only by making mistakes do we learn, and that therefore people should be encouraged to make lots of them.
This is one of the nuttiest ideas of all. Excessive fear of getting things wrong can be paralysing, but moderate fear is surely healthy and necessary as it helps ensure that most of the time we get things broadly right. This was the craze of the early s, touted by various people including engineer and business writer Michael Hammer.
It was all about businesses tearing up their old ways of doing things to make them more efficient. Actually what it turned out to be about was giving lots of work to management consultants, and then firing half the workforce. Thus it got a very bad name and mercifully fell out of fashion. But my name exposes the ridiculous insistence by managers that workers will be more productive if there is a playground slide in reception.
Some internet companies still appear to believe in the doctrine, but it can only be a matter of time. This became big in the s and was possibly the worst way of organising people that anyone has yet come up with.
It meant that people with a speciality were all bundled together and then parcelled out ad hoc to work on different projects. The upshot was that everyone had several different bosses and it made office life one long turf battle. Or the idea that everyone must be true to themselves.
This idea is not only unspecific, it is sentimental and unrealistic — the whole point of being a manager is that we get to be someone else. However, I was amused to read a very pertinent line on a coaching website:Aug 25, · These eight management fads have wasted far more time and money than they were worth.
|Where have all the Management Fads gone?||Process Re-engineering just to name a few. But the question is, are these management approaches useful for more than sounding good at the annual manager's meeting or conference?|
|Social Sharing||Quite the contrary, what makes them fads is that companies glom onto these decades-old ideas as panaceas|
|Search form||Employees Are Our Most Valued Asset Dilbert We had to add one for the cynics Great leaders figure out what their team, department or organization needs in order to rise to the next level of success. There are some positive aspects of implementing a new management strategy in your team.|
|Management Fads - Things You Should Know?To Not Get Suckered||Process Re-engineering just to name a few. Or impressing the boss at lunch?|
|Where others failed: Top 10 fads | Financial Times||Leave a comment on the story or email careerquestion globeandmail. The best comments will be published next week.|
Check out this Sales Machine hall of shame. Management Fads That Make a Difference New management tools are a dime a dozen and often just old strategies with fancy new names. But a few do make measurable differences.
Management fads were a perfect way for executives to convey the impression that they were progressive and modern in their thinking, but with very little risk that the outcomes could be objectively assessed as successful or failed. In some companies it's like clockwork.
Every couple of years or so, somebody in the executive suite decides that what's needed to make the organization really productive is a new approach to.
a provocative report in the "SAM Advanced Management Journal," Gibson, Tesone, and Charles Blackwell examine five fads that were popular in the second half of the 20th century: MBO. So many management fads - TQM, Chaos theory, excellence, and so many gurus.
This free article contains information you need to know before you go head over heels over the newest management trend or fad.