Enlightened MBA ?

It’s fair to say that doing an MBA back in the late 1980’s was instrumental in developing my focus on the psychological aspects of the question, “What, why and how do we know?” I’ve referenced my dissertation once or twice before and acknowledged the input from the tutors in the “organizational behavioural” subjects.

Of course the MBA I did, like all MBA’s then and for some time since, probably deserved the backlash to the idea that by doing an MBA, an otherwise unseasoned individual had learned how to do business. The steady stream of (expensive) Harvard “Case Studies” – where having “done the numbers” students were expected to pronounce on the rights and wrongs of business decisions made, propose courses of action and (in some cases) compare predictions with real outcomes. Right ? Err, Mu. Causation is weirder than that.

Tom Peters was already become the guru of excellence or quality – sequels to Peters & Waterman “In Search of Excellence” were already required reading. Apart for dynamism and difference and a focus on people (staff and customers) Tom’s bombastic style continued to promote his own consulting guru business, but of course flatly refused to reduce advice to fixed repeatable prescriptions – or rather only ever prescriptions for “style” of doing business, never for predictable success for specific actions.

Interesting to see this recent Tom Peters conclusion from two health-care related pieces, one on “architecture” the other on the “shape” of winners.

(1) Process “beats” outcome in evaluating an “experience”–even one as apparently “outcome sensitive” as a hospital stay …
(2) Happy staff, happy customers. Want to “put the customer first”? Put the staff “more first”!
(3) Quality is free–and then some.

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