Monday, May 13, 2013

Thoughts from Chris Argyris

Chris Argyris contributed a lot to management theory. Here are some of his lessons from a recent newspaper article:

  • knowledge is of minimal use unless it enables the recipient to take action
  • it is harder, not easier as we would expect, to teach smart people how to learn
  • focus on not just how to deal with the problems in a project, but why the project was undertaken in the first place and whether a better approach might work better.
A physician told me a long time ago that a rule of medicine is never to make a patient undergo a test unless the result will lead to some action (or avoid some action). That seems like good advice. Obtaining information costs money. Indeed, in an organization, obtaining information tends to use people's time and good will.

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