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Joe Marchese

I think any systemic review is a great opportunity to find ways to make things better. So too for management systems. In our firm, we speak of our commitment to management 'with a discipline for the science and a passion for the art'. I think the science side of management is ripe for a transformation, to take the insights we've gathered and apply them in a self-sustaining way that doesn't feel like an intervention inspired by the current fad. As to the art, I agree with Bob that good bosses 100 years ago would most likely make good bosses today. My only fear is that some might conclude there is nothing new to learn... that's scary.

Bob's warning that 'not invented here' isn't as dangerous as 'not sold here' is spot on. I believe that every fresh perspective can identify distinctions that can help us. Chasing after them blindly is a fool's mission.

Dan Erwin

Bob, like you, I'm cynical about reinventing management. I had the good fortune in grad school to take a few courses in American intellectual history. What I learned there applies directly to business and other fields. New ideas are never fully reinvented. They're old ideas, refined, refocused, elaborated upon or recontextualized.

About 20 years ago there was a fascinating rhetorical analysis of management ideas, called something like "Management Hype," in which the authors showed the historical background of the current guru focused material. And as I remember, the author came out of HBus School...although the new hype is coming out of Wharton.

I assume we need to recontextualize our management, but that's not reinvention.

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