Adonis Diaries

Archive for August 27th, 2012

Getting rid of all MBAs: Why? Is the problem How to rethink Management?

Dan RockwellI asked Professor Henry Mintzberg, author of 140 articles and 13 books:

“If you waved a magic wand over businesses, what would you change?”

Mintzberg said, “I’d get rid of all MBA’s. We’d lose some good people, but in the whole, it would be a positive move.” Never mistake quiet voices for weak people.

A few problems that trouble Mintzberg about MBA’s, including management gone completely off the rails, are:

  1. MBA graduate with distorted pictures of management. They believe management is about management principles, among other flawed beliefs.
  2. They believe they can manage anything regardless of the business type.
  3. They have knowledge without experience which leads to hubris.

And if management isn’t about management principles, what’s it about? Mintzberg says “Management is connecting.” 

Although Mintzberg didn’t use the terms human or humane, they seem to explain his passion. He despises placing emphasis on productivity, particularly built on the backs of over-worked, burned-out employees. Pushing people simply works in the short-term.

Bloodletting:

Mintzberg believes cutbacks and layoffs are equivalent to the failed practice of bloodletting. They produce short-term profits and long-term loses. Mintzberg loves saying, “If you want productivity, fire everyone and sell from inventory.”

Long-term success:

Mintzberg believes organizations should be built for long-term success rather than quick profits. Shifting to the long view may be the most radical change businesses can make because it requires connecting.

Henry Mintzberg thinks modern management is off the tracks. He said:

“The problem in America isn’t the economy: It’s management.” Like what problems?

  1. MBA’s with no experience.
  2. Shareholder value.
  3. Separating management from leadership.
  4. Making Top-down strategy.  Strategy should emerge from conversations within an organization.
  5. Excessive executive compensations: Narcissism with over-compensated CEO.
  6. Using terms like “human resources” and “human capital” is sickening.
  7. Pushing employees to work harder and longer.
  8. Current hiring practices.

Hiring a CEO:

Henry Mintzberg says: “Stop hiring people who can impress.” 

Stop looking for perfect candidates: “Flaws aren’t fatal. Listen to the people who know them best, the people who worked for them. There are only two ways to find out someone’s flaws, marry them or work for them.”

Searching for perfect – flawless – candidates prevent anyone from saying the “emperor has no cloths”. In a world filled with “perfect” leaders, fakery prevails.

Fakery exacerbates stress in an already stress-filled world.

Email:

Mintzberg isn’t a big fan of email, to add a ninth item to the list. It obviously has a place but, “It does have an off button. I check email every three weeks.”  Mintzberg can be contrarian but not contrary.

Rockwell is asking:

What do you think is wrong with modern management?

If you could wave a magic wand over businesses, how would they change?

How are you navigating short-term vs. long-term views of business, management, and leadership?

Recent article by Mintzberg and Todd: The Offline Executive

A new approach to leadership development: Coaching Ourselves

Whispered tales from Lebanon? 

We are Sabine Choucair and Chantal Mailhac. We are two independent Lebanese artists, and this is our storytelling company “Whispered Tales“.

We are touring countries with a show conceived with a compilation of 10 stories collected from every corner in Lebanon; ordinary people’s extraordinary stories…Whispered Tales has been performed in different Lebanese villages, Jordan and Portugal…

Our project is to include touring the USA with some whispered tales from Lebanon!

The tales were whispered to us during a one-month road trip through the villages of Lebanon… Actually, it all started when we heard the mother of our friend telling us:

Once upon a time, Wadih and me met by the beach, fell in love and decided to get married. It was the 13th of April 1975 !”
That’s the date the Lebanese civil war started … 
But they did not lose hope … and their amazing story began:
And despite all hitches and obstacles, they kept on trying, every month to get married…until…

Looking back at that story (that was just the beginning…), that same evening, it occurred to us how absurdly funny, yet dramatic it was, telling living stories.

Historical facts can always be found on the internet and in books.  But the people’s truth is the reality they have livedexperienced and remember, that’s what we wanted to hear…

And that evening, we felt we needed more stories!

We felt the need to know about real people’s stories, their personal, extraordinary stories. We wanted to understand our culture, to archive the memories, gather them in a collective memory and carry them around the world… 

So we went on a road trip across the villages and towns of Lebanon to meet people, collect stories that had happened over the last 50 years.

A month later, we had collected 150 stories, about love, hate, community, life and death. We chose 10 amazing ones to be the “Whispered Tales” of our show.
This August, we will be in New York to take part in the “Between the Seas” festival.
We also have invitations to perform in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco to tell everyone these amazing stories from Lebanon.

Performances are  in English.

We figured that this touring project will cost us $5,000. This money will cover our flights to and from the USA, and the production of our show “Whispered Tales” in the different cities we will visit. It will pay for accommodation, food, props, etc.

Contributions are the only way this project can keep evolving.
We hope you can be part of this unique experience by pledging the amount of money that you think right for our endeavor.

Dates and venues:

New York:  Between The Seas festival
@ The wild project, August 25th & 26th
(www.betweentheseas.org)
Chicago: Taxim restaurant; September 2nd
San Francisco: September 7th ( venue to be confirmed)
Atlanta: Alif Institute; September 14th & 15th @ 7pm (www.alifinstitute.org)  Boston: CAC; Saturday 21st.

Sabine on the left and Chantal: Beauty is not that evident, need to meet them.
 

adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

August 2012
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