Thursday, January 12, 2017

CURMUDGUCATION: Bad Management

CURMUDGUCATION: Bad Management:

Bad Management


I have a theory that one of the major problems in America today is just plain bad management. I have watched it trash companies on the smaller, more local scale here, and periodically we get to watch large American corporations go down in flames.

For instance, consider retail giant Sears. Business Insider has published a blistering look inside the ongoing death spiral of the venerable retail giant. Hayley Peterson's reporting is thorough, brutal, and depressing, and it provides a striking look at how bad management can sink a business because in the case of Sears, the problems are neither complicated nor complex-- one terrible CEO is managing to torch the entire place.



CEO Eddie Lambert is the very model of a modern major management disaster. He has no background in retail, and yet, somehow, he is running a giant retail corporation. What's his actual background? Running hedge funds. Making money from investments. This is one of the precepts of modern management-- anybody can manage any business as long as they have previously managed some other business. And if they have previous experience shuffling investment money, then so much the better.

Lambert has tried a variety of stupid bad management ideas. In 2013, Business Insider took a look at his bright idea to split the company into divisions and pit them against each other, because (as you may have heard) competition fosters excellence. It didn't. It fostered a huge lack of cooperation that in turn led to decisions that were bad for the enterprise as a whole. (You can read more about this special kind of management stupid in action here at Bruce Baker's blog post at the time).

Lambert tries to manage at a great distance, by screen. This is also a bit of modern management 
CURMUDGUCATION: Bad Management:



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