What goes around…

Many things in the world of business and technology can be seen as cyclical. An obvious example is the evolution of computing from the mainframe/dumb terminal to the individual PC to the network-centric nature of the .com years. (Granted, mainframes and network-centric are not the same thing, but you get the idea.)

Reading through this article, Frederick Winslow Taylor. Founder of modern scientific management principles, I was struck by how management and the operation of organizations has come around again, if not full circle then in the same ball park as in the tech example above.

A quick quote from the article:

At the time of Taylor’s work, a typical manager would have very little contact with the activities of the factory. Generally, a foreman would be given the total responsibility for producing goods demanded by the salesman. Under these conditions workmen used what tools they had or could get and adopted methods that suited their own style of work.

To me, this sounds a lot like decentralized governance of an organization with employees empowered to do what they feel is necessary to complete the job.

Sounds familiar….

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