Thursday, 12 March 2009


According to a new management book (Management F Laws by Russell L. Ackoff, Herbert J. Addison and Sally Bibb. Published by Triarchy Press ISBN 0-9550081-1-5. 20 Pounds) the less important an issue is, the more time is spent discussing it. Everyone is an expert on trivia. So everyone can discuss trivialities with equal authority and at great length.

Anyone who has ever attended a Hartlepool Council Meeting can verify this is true. Hours and hours of discussion on trivia but serious, big decisions are made almost without discussion. Even if Councilors ask questions or try to stimulate discussion the process is immediately shut down by the "Experts" who bring the discussion back to their own comfort zone and limit discussion to what they know about it. Expert opinion is rarely challenged by other experts as they all broadly agree with each other, challenge often only comes from non-experts who don't know enough to understand why their ideas are "not practical". However, it is often the naive question that experts fear, because these challenge the established wisdom. If you always do what you've always done then you get what you've always got. That is why successful organizations move their senior people around on a regular basis, to shake then up, challenge their pre-conceived ideas. After two or three years any individual is as likely to be just part of the problem and not part of the solution. Its called "capture by the system" and Stuart Drunmmond displayed the perfect example after less than 12 months as Mayor when he admitted that now he knew how the system worked he understood why Council tax had to go up every year. You shouldn't be there to "understand how it works" you should be thee to challenge why it works as it does.

Experts and bureaucrats of course seldom accept any responsibility for errors resulting from following their advice. However, they accept full responsibility for any successes that result from following their advice, however remote the connection.

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