May 18, 2008
Some Things You Can't Control
Howard Weaver writes a great post at Etaoin Shrdlu about newspapers, technological change, and… Microsoft.
There’s a point latent in his piece that I’d amplify: Lots of things — maybe even most things — happen by accident, and totally despite your plans or wishes. Even if you’re super-smart. Even if you have an MBA.
MBA thinking wants everything to be quantifiable and controllable. Analysis, strategy, execution. Build your model right and you can do anything. But that mode of thinking grew up in a more static, cordoned-off industrial world, and it simply doesn’t work anymore. (Or maybe it never really did?)
That’s why I’ve been digging this book lately, and why I want MBAs to start taking classes like “stochastic scenarios” and “ten prototypes in ten weeks.”