management fads

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What makes a management technique a fad is not the technique itself. The techniques typically are developed, refined, and successfully employed by organizations prior to becoming popular. What makes them a fad is that business leaders adopt them as panaceas without truly understanding the technique and the context of their situation - and calling what they are doing strategy or leadership.

The management techniques cited as fads are not bad techniques per se - they are just not substitutes for leadership. They also cause more harm than good when misapplied. When the organization is rallied to pursue technique after technique without achieving promised results - it becomes very conscious of the wasted time, money, and energy - becoming cynical as a result.

Fads since the late 1980s --

  • Total quality
  • Kaizen
  • Lean
  • Benchmarking
  • Best practices
  • Flexible manufacturing
  • Value creation
  • Strategic intent
  • Continuous improvement
  • Cross-functional teams
  • Revitalization
  • Restructuring
  • Reengineering
  • Organizational transformation
  • Six-sigma
  • Business process redesign
  • Organizations as orchestras
  • The new organization
  • The self designing organization
  • The hybrid organization
  • The post-entrepreneurial organization
  • The post-industrial organization
  • Knowledge workers
  • Empowerment
  • Diversity
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Intrapreneurs
  • Innovation itself is even becoming a fad.