Management – A Little Neglect

A little neglect may breed great mischief…for want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost.  – Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

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Benjamin Franklin had wrote many an interesting article or letter during his day.  His bemoaning of neglect provides insight to the nagging nature of management.

Management has long wrestled with making things better, only to making things worse.  And so, we have neglected management in moving our thinking forward.  The industrialized, backward thinking of management has created a large chasm to cross in the pursuit of improvement.

We have neglected management as part of the problem for so long that improvement efforts have become focused on the front-line.  This has become an acceptable place for improvement to begin . . . and end.  The inches between the ears of management avoided as not to make waves.

It is true that work represents the place to make improvements, but if management is completely separated from the work there can be no real improvement or learning.  Management designed the work that workers do, workers can make some improvements but dramatic improvement requires management participation to understand.  You can not lead  or fix the design from from behind.

Tripp Babbitt is a speaker, blogger and consultant to service industry (private and public).  His organization helps executives find a better way to make the work work.  Read his articles at Quality Digest and his column for  Learn more about the 95 Method for service organizations.  Reach him on Twitter at LinkedIn at

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