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Monitoring And Learning

Courtesy of this Scott Berkun retweet,

I latched onto this Harvard Business School paper abstract:

Even though the paper is laced with impeccable math and densely “irrefutable” logic, the conclusion of “looser monitoring -> more learning -> more creativity & innovation” seems intuitively obvious, doesn’t it?

Assume that the top leaders in your org embrace the idea and sincerely want to put it into action to detach the group from the status quo and propel it toward excellence. Well, fuggedaboutit. The scores of mediocre middle managers within the institution who do the monitoring will instantaneously switch into passive-aggressive mode and thwart any attempt to institute the policy. They’ll do this because it will most likely expose the fact that they are not only suppressing creativity and innovation where the rubber hits the road, but they are not adding much value to the operation themselves. How do I know this? Because that’s what I’d feel culturally forced to do. But not you, right?

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