Friday, May 22, 2020

Management by Objective

20th Century Fox is rumored to have purchased the rights to the Gretchen Whitmer biopic
Belladonna was distressed. Governor Whitmer extended the "emergency" and Bella really misses being able to go to the gym.

That stimulated a discussion about what Governor Whitmer SHOULD be doing.

Objective based management is not a new principle. Peter Drucker wrote a book by that title in 1954 but successful enterprises used the idea for centuries before that.

A typical "plan" would involve multiple objectives (or "hurdles" or "gates") that had to be achieved before the organization was allowed to move on "to the next thing". It was a way of ensuring the concrete had hardened before the framing carpenters started erecting the stud-walls.

Sometimes various hurdles can be traded. To make this concrete and a little bit funny, suppose I determined that I needed 100 pounds of lentils and 300 pounds of rice for each person in the ERJ manor before buying everybody a set of nunchukus for personal defense.

But what if I had 170 pounds of lentils and 250 pounds of rice and 20 liters of vegetable oil? Is the fact that I am 50 pounds shy of rice a show stopper if I have excesses of other, needed items? Maybe yes. Maybe no.

If I can be a wee-bit critical of Governor Whitmer
If Governor Whitmer's organization could take the time and formulate the hurdles for exiting the shut-down, then the various counties or "Regions" could free-flow toward normalcy.

The fact that her organization hasn't embraced "Management by Objectives" suggests that either:

  • They aren't smart enough
  • Are too lazy and undisciplined to think-through a rational set of objectives or perhaps they are too proud to delegate to experts who can create rational sets of objectives
  • Don't trust the tax-donkeys who fund their paycheck
  • Have an extreme aversion to responsibility
  • Have other, shady reasons for not wanting normalcy

Incidentally, the title of the biopic is tentatively set as "Night at a Wax Museum". A little bit of John Wilder humor


  1. Embrace the power of and.
    All of the above.

    1. Likely so.

      Bella has been trying to give Whitmer the benefit-of-the-doubt. Her mantra is "nobody else could have done better"

      The problem with that thinking is that I believe there are several thousand people in Michigan who could have done better. They have experience in managing product launches, or managing large construction projects or coordinating complicated, multi-discipline efforts.

      Yes, it is hard. Yes, we know how to do it.

      The problem is the people with that management expertise are rarely lackies. My perception is that Governors are too proud to give effective managers the authority they need to get the job done.

      Consequently, it devolves to a sh!tshow where every prat-fall is a showcase of micro-managment incompetence.

      Sadly, there are legions of people like Bella who think micro-managers are great leaders because they don't know any better.

  2. Keep the word defenestration in the back of your mind. Beside the words tar, feathers, pitchforks and torches.

  3. The first sign that a politician has gone power-mad is flagrant displays of hypocrisy. Like the mayor of Chicago getting a personal stylist to do her hair. Or the Michigan Governor driving to her vacation home. Or the mayor of NYC going to the gym, or for a walk in the park. All in direct defiance of their own edicts to the rest of the population, with dire threats of penalties. Whitmer has been a disaster for Michigan. And now it appears that her Attorney General, the shrill harridan we saw on the news last week going ballistic because Trump didn't wear a mask 100% of the time during his Ford Plant Visit, is the same person that has been ordering the Sanford Dam operator to maintain dangerously high water levels on behalf of a mussel species. There she is, blasting Trump on television about his mask habits, with herself on camera, no mask. Governor same, no mask.

    One thing the COVID crisis is bringing out, all of the crazies who have no business being assigned responsibilities of power and public policy. It's going to be a very interesting election season. Village Stocks, Tar, Feathers all need to come back into fashion. So does voting.

  4. A more recent pic-

  5. Viewing that made me jump back and bonk my head on the back wall of the sleeper berth. I’ll have bad dreams tonight, thanks.


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