A new edition of Kirt Cogitations was posted yesterday, titled, "Refusing
to Suffer Fools." It recounts some of the inane company-philosophy-changing programs
I have experienced at companies over the years. It will probably remind you of some
you have been forced to endure. We'll all be glad to read your story if you post it
Refusing to Suffer Fools
I was reading the other day reminded me of the ridiculous antics a few companies I worked
for have performed in an attempt to adopt the attitude du jour on the proper way to
run a business. Probably the most outrageous example comes from a satellite earth station
system design firm in the last century, but there were other notables.
the mid-to-late 1990s, the in-vogue practice for companies was shedding the old ways
of doing things - you know, those things that for most places had worked so well - and
adopting a new philosophy. After all, the world was changing rapidly for the better;
our president even declared "the end of the traditional business cycle." The chairman
of the Fed's admonition to beware feelings of "irrational exuberance," business titans
raced forward at full tilt. After all, in such bountiful times when nothing could go
wrong, what would be the harm in testing any and all new ideas?
From my perspective, it was basically an avant garde management style that required
a new way for employees to think about themselves and the company. A "new paradigm,"
it was called. That word paradigm imposed itself into the lexicon of a workforce that
largely could not even spell "paradigm," let alone understand its significance. Personally,
the word I associated with the rapidly progressing, omnipresent force was "dubious."
I just never bought into the hype, and did not fully trust those who did.
... read the rest