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11 January 2017 @ 12:12 pm
Step One = Good, Step Two = ??????, Step Three = Great!!  
Or, be careful when hiring businesspeople to manage a nonprofit.
So the new vice president of our unit read a book called From Good to Great and got fired up with missionary zeal. Having already inflicted it on the senior management, she decided that everyone in the unit should be subject to it as well, and thus I suffered. And this from a woman who said we needed fewer meetings.

The book is the standard sociopathic business trash. Great companies come from hiring great people, who are people who are fanatically devoted--the word "fanatic" is used repeatedly--to the mission of the company without thought of personal compensation. Companies should develop their hedgehog concept, the one thing at the world they're the best at, and if they can't be the best, don't even try. Bureaucracy is created to compensate for bad employees, so by only hiring great ones, bureaucracy isn't necessary. And don't run around like a fox who can't focus on any one thing at a time. And there's nothing about actually cultivating leadership or employee greatness. It's business Calvinism--some employees are great, so hire them. The rest are trash and should be thrown off the bus. How do you tell who's great beforehand? Who knows. Not the book.

The book also has the quote:
Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.
Which is a blatant lie. Ambition is needed to make the most of circumstances, but circumstances are the majority of what contributes to success in life. It's just another way to justify firing everyone who isn't "great."  photo emot-colbert.gif

Fortunately, the meeting was just banal and mediocre, not actively offensive. They didn't read through the fifty pages of notes on the books that we were supposed to read beforehand, instead having each table come up with its own lists of things that we should stop doing, what our hedgehog concept was, etc., and then present them to the group. I particularly noticed in the stop list, "Stop going to meetings to learn, go to do" and "Stop having trainings that don't pertain to what we do," which are my picks for the favorite. I left an unkind evaluation on the way out.

The worst part was definitely the line at the beginning about how this is going to become routine for the purposes of team building. We're well on our way to having fewer meetings!  photo cripes.001.gif
Current Mood: nauseatednauseated
Current Music: Roguelike Radio
q99q99 on January 11th, 2017 09:39 pm (UTC)
Oh, didn't that book use Circuit City as one of it's examples? (If it's the one I'm thinking of)

No-longer-existent Circuit City?
dorchadasdorchadas on January 11th, 2017 09:59 pm (UTC)
It did!

None of the "Great" companies had data tracked into the new millennium, since the book was first published in 2001, and it's not like anything major has happened economically since the 90s...

Edited at 2017-01-17 03:26 pm (UTC)
agent_dani on January 17th, 2017 03:30 am (UTC)
That sounds so very much like a former manager I had - he felt that his only functions as a manager should be to allocate the work and sign our performance reviews, and that everything else we should take care of on our own.
dorchadasdorchadas on January 17th, 2017 08:20 pm (UTC)
Ugh, that sounds really annoying to have to deal with. If no management is necessary (or thought to be necessary), why even have a manager?  photo _thisorthat__or__compare__by_brokenboulevard-d4tole3.gif
agent_dani on January 17th, 2017 08:57 pm (UTC)
I'd like to believe that was why a reorg relieved him of managerial responsibilities. However, what likely caused it was that he wouldn't say "no" to any work management asked him if we could do, hopelessly overextending us (to the point that we could have worked 12-14 hour days, 7 days a week and not met deadlines even if all those hours were productive.)