[From Rick Marken (990207.1130)]
Kenny Kitzke (990205.1600 EST) to Bruce Gregory --
as soon as you and Rick discover that I'm right, I am going to
start selling Bibles (possibly give them away) on my PCT business
web site. It sure would beat trying to get managers to accept
Perceptual Control Theory as a basis to operate their organizations.
It has been a very disturbing struggle so far.
I can see why managers, especially those looking for justification
for the most ruthless and autocratic management practices, would
prefer the Bible to PCT as a source of lessons on management. The
first lesson I learn from the Bible is
1. If one of your initiatives is a major failure, don't learn from
your mistakes, remain firmly in charge and demand continued respect
from those most affected by your failure.
This is precisely what God does in Genesis. Mankind (God's
initiative) proved to be a failure (admitted to by God himself
in Gensis 6:6), so he kills everyone (man, woman and fetus) in
a flood, and starts all over again with the failed components
(Noah et al) while remaining firmly in charge. [Note to Kenny:
How did the kangaroos get from Ararat to Australia after the
flood?]. Things quickly go south with mankind again but God
stays on as CEO, even demanding respect (burnt offerings seemed
to be the big thing at the time) from those who were most adversely
affected by his poor judgement.
Here are some more lessons I picked up:
2. Lie and cheat if necessaary to move up in the world.
This, of course, if what Jacob did in order to get blessed
by upper management. He cheated his brother out of his birthright
as well. Jacob is, of course, the good guy from God's perspective;
since I'm not schooled in the management philosophies of the Bible
it seems to me that Jacob is pond scum while ol' blue collar
Esau is the mensch.
3. Don't negotiate; destroy the opposition!
This is how God (via Moses) delt with Pharaoh. To God's credit,
he seemed to be opposed to slavery -- at least for Hebrews;-).
When God finally gets it into his all powerful agenda to to
free the Hebrews he proceeds by the use of naked force; he
threatens Pharaoh with plagues that will mainly hurt innocent
people. On top of this, whenever Pharoah starts to be inclined
toward giving in and freeing the Hebrews, God "hardens Pharoah
heart" so that God can go on punishing innocent people. Why, in
God's name, God hardens instead of softens Pharoah's heart is
beyond me. The God being described here is punitive (and a killer
of innocent people). God is a strong proponent of war and genocide
as a way to get whatone wants. On the topic of genocide, God makes
this wise observation: "Those that ye let remain [alive] of them
shall be as pricks in your eyes and thorns in your side and shall
vex you in the land wherein ye dwell" (Numbers 33:55) In other
words, make sure you kill everyone (man, woman and fetus) in the
places you take over or eventually someone will come back and
give you problems. Sound's like Microsoft's approach to business
competition. The Christians in Kosovo are also apparently trying
to apply this Biblical management principle in their country.
4. Have lots of rules, whether they make sense or not, and
demand blind adherence to them.
The famous 10 commandments are in Exodus (20:1-17). I hope
they are not listed in order of importance. If so, the second
most important commandment is "Thou shalt not sculpt"; is
sculpting (making graven images) really one of the top offenses
in God's "company"? This will be bad news for my Auntie Natalie
who has several large metal sculptures on display in public
places in LA and Japan. "Thou shalt not kill" is way down on
I'm afrand that reading this Bible for management or moral
lessons is just not going to work for me. Against the backdrop
of my wimpy, relativist moral references, much about the God
of the Bible strikes me as just plain immoral. For those who
insist on getting their ideas about management and morality
from ancient tribal myths I recommed Homer's epics over the
Torah any day. They are certainly better poetry (though
Ecclesiates and the sexy Song of Solomon give Homer a run for
Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
Life Learning Associates e-mail: email@example.com