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The Art of Action: Leadership that Closes the Gaps between Plans, Actions and Results by Stephen Bungay

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LEGACY THINKING

In the decades following the Industrial Revolution, many businesses were built up around factories which were essentially machines, and the people needed to operate them were integrated into them like the proverbial cogs. The machine became the model for business as a whole. Machines are designed to carry out a set of definable tasks and they do so if properly controlled by their operators. Machines are mindless, they just do what their designers want. If something goes wrong it is because a part has malfunctioned and needs to be repaired or replaced.

In 1911, Frederick Winslow Taylor’s classic The Principles of Scientific Management enshrined the machine model for several generations. This approach to management rests on three ...

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