Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Dilbert Principle by Scott Adams REVIEW

How "The Dilbert Principle" Rips the Lid Off Corporate Managerial Scams

If you think I'm a sometimes harsh critic of domination systems and power structures -- you must not read Dilbert much.

Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert cartoon, which is pro-worker and anti-management, has an abundance of smart, sharp remarks about the trainwreck that is modern American managerial practice.

After all the great teachings of Deming and Drucker, management just acts dopey, tyrannical, and clueless most of the time. Very few exceptions.

"The boss wants to see you in his office. Now." remains the #1 most dreaded phrase in cubicle land.

Employees never expect praise or a fantastic new assignment. They always fear being in trouble. Because managers don't typically encourage or empower anybody. They basically instill anxiety and subservience.

And they don't treat customers any better than they treat staff. Which is why so many businesses fail.

Adams has a new book out, about how he failed his way to success. But I found this, his earlier book of cartoons and his business insights, a First Edition, at a thrift store yesterday.

One way a company engages in self-harm is by having what used to be called "sick days" fold into the slag pile of vacation days, under the heading Personal Paid Time Off.

Since there are no more days allotted specifically for staying home and getting over your flu, employees are accidentally encouraged to come to work sick as hell. They don't want to use up a vacation day.

This book is loaded with cartoons, interspersed with bright commentary and revealing anecdotes. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll grimace. You'll shriek with hilarity and Eureka! insight bursts.

If you weren't cynical or at least skeptical about post-industrial management scams, you will be after only a few pages. Then you keep reading and relishing the dirt, the grime, the stupendous pit of slime that reigns in far too many corporate structures.

The Dilbert Principle covers such things as:

* Humiliation as a management technique
* Selling bad products to stupid people
* Mission Statements as idiotic fluff that says nothing
* Vision Statements as grandiose empty sentiments
* Performance Review torture tactics
* Office furniture semiotics
* Power hunger fools rise to the top
* 13 Lies of Management
* Casual Day freak shows
* Dress Code symbolism
* "Like a Boss" bullying
* Stifling creativity
* Ensuring mediocrity
* Punishing over-achievers
* Fake customer-focus
* Enforcing low self-esteem

You'll be nodding your head in agreement, page after naughty page, as you concur with the employee  insubordination and office indignation expressed in memorable phrases.

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