There Are No Little Things 2: My AP Job
Start of November 28 Column

How to Thin Out Management

Even though I got a B.S. in Management from MIT, I didn’t learn a lot because I seldom went to class. But I do remember this description of what it takes to lead a successful organization with very little management.

I was taught this in management school, but I can’t find a citation on the Internet.

In an orchestra everyone has sheet music so they know what to do. The conductor leads, and all the players are professionals so they can follow. Thus they can easily work together towards the common goal of making music under a one-man management team.

If an orchestra were organized like most industrial corporations they would be led by a conductor who couldn’t read music, eight subconductors beating out different rhythms, and a band that was half professional and half amateur and didn’t have any sheet music. I know for a fact my professor put it better, but this captures the gist. If everyone has and understands a clear plan and knows what they’re doing, you don’t need much management.


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