in Organizations

The Age of Heretics, Updated in 2nd Edition

Art Kleiner revised The Age of Heretics and the 2nd edition is on it’s way to my greedy little fingers. It explores heretical ideas in management starting in 1945 through several case studies to find that:

  • People are basically good at heart; they are fundamentally trustworthy. Only workplaces that give their members the chance to learn and add value through their work will succeed in the long run.
  • Aim for quality of work, and money will follow.
  • Industrial growth is not always desirable. Sometimes it can be destructive.
  • Predictions and forecasts are mechanistic substitutes for awareness, and substitutes for awareness lead to bad decisions.
  • There is no such thing as “just business, nothing personal.” Business is always personal, even if it isn’t supposed to be. And we are better off recognizing that.
  • Everything in business is connected to everything else. Business is a complex living system with many interconnections. No one can control the system; one can only learn to influence it.