Friday, August 15, 2008

When Fad Things Happen To Good Concepts

You already know I am a fan of Wally Bock's Three Star Leadership blog. Today, he had an interesting post entitled "When Fad Things Happen To Good Concepts." It's a good post and worth reading.

However, I'd like to get on my soapbox on management fads. Everyday, it seems there is a new management fad or trend. These fads will certainly save anyone's business, giving them the silver bullets to outstanding performance. As P.T. Barnum said, "There's a sucker born every minute."

Unfortunately, in trying to find out where the fault lies for management by fad, I have to point the finger to my own profession. Too many consultants publish a book, offering new insights, but are mostly recycled and updated ideas that come from solid, well established management research or writing from years ago. Usually, the greatest contribution these "new management" approaches have is boosting the consultant's speaking and services fees. They often burden people adopting the ideas with a new jargon, but little new or innovative.

Don't get me wrong, often there is value in reading these books. An old idea, presented in a slightly different light can stimulate us to think. At the same time, let's not throw out the sound principles from years ago, looking for the new magic elixir.

Most effective business leaders I know focus on basics. As Wally mentions in his post, these basics don't change much from year to year or decade to decade.

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