Rules, Tools, and Fools

One for my list of anti-dialectic triples.

Bob Sutton wrote in passing: “It reminds of when my dissertation adviser — Bob Kahn, half jokingly — defined organizations as “rules, tools, and fools.”

That is certainly one of the ways I think about organizational design.  Though I’d probably say: “Techniques, Technology, and Talent.”  You might say it’s the job of the talent to find ways to get the techniques and the technology to be foolproof.

Of course, a lot is missing from that list: adaptive, visibility, measures, relationships, incentives, etc. etc.  I guess now I need to come up with T words for each of those.

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