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Don Burkins

FYI - A 1980 lecture-transcript version of Dr. March's article is available as a pdf with intro and respondent comments at:

Wally Bock

If you have a great system in place, such as Toyota or the Roman Army, you don't have to depend on great leadership. But you still need simple competence to make what you sell, put it in boxes, send it out and bill for it. You still need simple competence to order the materials, train where it's needed and sell things. If you do not have a system that supports the people doing that basic work, it rarely matters what sort of leadership you have.


H.L. Mencken said it more succinctly and colorfully: “The older I get the more I admire and crave competence, just simple competence, in any field from adultery to zoology.”

John Phillips

Not sure what kind of scholar you're looking for, but give me a call if you need someone who's mature, experienced, bureaucracy-tested, outspoken, knowledgeable about everything by my own admission, and, oh yes, patient.

Have a good new year, and keep up the good work.


So how should "idea people" - who may not be "effective bureaucracy people" - best contribute to the success of an organization, or to society?

Tim Berry

Glad to see another James March fan here. A great teacher, great thinker. I quoted him on education vs. creativity in:


I am a member of the Jim March Fan Club, if there is one.

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