Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A Former Marine Discusses IT in Iraq

"While I don't think IT created micro-management, I think it made micro-management a lot easier. It's a tempting thing to do. But the more accessible the chain of command is, the stronger you have to be to not micromanage.

The dangers of micro-management are well-known. If someone is deciding for you every last detail of how you should get your job done, you stop thinking for yourself. Given the type of battlefield the military is dealing with these days, they're in need of a lot of individual initiative. There are so many small units off on their own."

Interesting how this might be true of businesses as well. Communications is so good these days that almost no one has to make a decision on their own and await the outcome. You can always, easily and quickly, invite others to "buy in" to your decision and become part of a face-saving consensus. Of course, someone with a thorough understanding o that process can significantly influence the outcome of the process without appearing to be particularly involved. We used to just call it "playing politics", but the game is a lot more subtle than it used to be.

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