Management advice: which 90% is crap

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 26, 2006
Filed in Leadership Posts

I enjoy reading Bob Sutton’s work. He seems like a no nonsense sort of guy who is not trying to baffle you with BS. Bob was the guy who suggested the no asshole rule which I would love to see more organisations implement.

Today Bob has released a new essay on Change This suggesting some guidelines for detecting misguided management advice. Here are his 5 guidelines. Check out the essay for the detail.

  • treat old ideas as if they are old ideas
  • be suspicious of breakthrough ideas and studies
  • what are the incentives for the people who are selling you the idea?
  • are they telling you that “all the best companies” or “most of the fortune 500” do it?
  • does it seem to obvious (this is a good thing)

One niggle. I’m sure Bob is aware of Chris Argyris’ book, Flawed Advice and the Management Trap: How Managers Can Know When They’re Getting Good Advice and When They’re Not yet there is no mention of it. “Treat old ideas as if they are old ideas”, hmmm.

About  Shawn Callahan

Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:


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