Friday, December 18, 2009

Looking for the Answers

For some of us, there is a quiet fascination in how organizations really work.

A biologist may study tree frogs and amoeba; we prefer watching executives, first-line supervisors, middle-managers, and frustrated but brilliant employees. We look for the silent signals, the mating calls, and the marking of territories.

But most of all, we look for the hidden trails that are used to get from Point A to Point B and beyond. Those can only be discovered if you look for the intangibles that are created by a new or vigorous execution of the basics.

George Washington knew of this when he said, "Take two managers, and give them the same number of laborers, and let those laborers be equal in all respects. Let both managers rise equally early, go equally late to rest, be equally active, sober, and industrious, and yet, in the course of a year, one of them, without pushing the hands under him more than the other, shall have performed infinitely more work."

Finding the answer to that mystery is what drives those of us who are possessed by the study of management.

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