To strike at the root we must study our history

If you don’t know who Frederick Winslow Taylor is, you should.

He is the father of scientific management and much of his thinking controls our organizations today.

When Thoreau said, “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root,” he was probably thinking of people in large organizations trying to change their organizations without an awareness of how much their behaviors, beliefs and control systems are based on Taylor’s work.

Once you know Taylor and what his legacy means in modern organizations, then you can strike at the root.

I’ve got my ax ready.

Who’s willing to strike with me?

Let’s drive some change.

Your thoughts: What aspect of Taylor’s philosophy strikes you as the most detrimental when applied in modern organizations?

2 thoughts on “To strike at the root we must study our history”

  1. I believe the most damaging aspect to Taylorism is the dehumanization of the workforce. The intelligence of the worker was sacrificed for the efficiency of the process.

    Post industrial era management shows us that the intelligence of the worker is the organizations most valuable asset. In order to increase productivity, an oraganization has to invest in the person (knowledge management, talent management, human capital management) much more than they need to improve the process (LEAN, Six Sigma). Both are very important, but the failure of scientific management is treating people as machines.

  2. Couldn’t help but think of our journal entry given to us in English class last night after reading what Mike posted…

    “Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and let him know that you trust him.” Booker T Washington 1856-1915.

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