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Taylor’s List

Since his management methods don’t apply to the vast majority of work performed in the 21st century, yet bazillions of managers still cling to them out of cluelessness, I’m constantly ragging against Frederick Winslow Taylor‘s work in this blog (can you say FOSTMA?). However, like all man-made ideas, beliefs, and concepts in the world, it’s not a black and white affair.

In Watts Humphrey‘s final book, “Leadership, Teamwork, and Trust: Building a Competitive Software Capability“, Watts summarizes some less well-publicized tenets of Taylor’s teachings. In the following list, he reproduces Mr. Taylor’s advice to managers:

Heartily cooperate“? “Equal division of work“?”Management takes over all work for which they are better fitted“? WTF? Uh, it seems like Tayloristic managers today (and of course, not all managers fit this bill) have only embraced the non-yucky, self-serving parts of Mr. Taylor’s teaching. They’ve conveniently thrown out the baby with the bath water, no?

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