Since Google Is In Mountain View, CA, Is It A Guru?

That may seem like a cheap shot and I have the greatest respect for much that Google offers.  However I am bemused by the current interactions of Google and Twitter.  .. and this morning, there is an excellent article on the Times Online entitled, Goodbye to glib gurus and their gobbledegook

It is well worth reading.  It points out that the credit crunch is showing management theory for the hollow, jargon-filled sham it always was. But at last the tide is turning. As the gurus simplistic theories are discredited because they don’t work in a reliable and ongoing way for a majority of the applications, people are turning back to the essential values.

People really have enormous talents and strengths.  Given the goals to be achieved, they will usually figure it out.  Don’t over-control from the top with compliance procedures.  The message that comes from that is that people are cogs and they should perform within stated tolerances.  If you treat people like cogs, then they behave like cogs.

The alternative is to respect what each and everyone has to offer and rely on grass roots leadership to get the job done.  In a funny way, it parallels the struggle now going on between Google and Twitter.  It is perhaps symbolic that Google sits up there in Mountain View, California.  Sounds like guru territory to me.


Not least of the attractions of the article is a final listing of all those guru techniques.  We add them here for your entertainment and for future reference.  If all else fails, ..

Management by numbers – The gurus know how to count…

  • Michael Porter’s Five Forces
  • Kenichi Ohmae’s 3 Cs – Commitment, Creativity, Competition
  • Peter Senge’s Five Disciplines
  • W. Edwards Deming’s Fourteen Points
  • David Kolb’s Four Factors
  • Rensis Likert’s System 4

Management by acronym – They also like to spell things out…

  • AVA = Activity Value Analysis
  • BPR = Business Process Re-engineering
  • CBA = Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • TQM = Total Quality Management

Management by cliché – But best of all they like a snappy phrase…

  • Management by Walking About  (Tom Peters)
  • Who Moved My Cheese?  (Spencer Johnson)
  • Theory X and Theory Y  (Douglas McGregor)
  • The Managerial Grid  (Robert Blake and Jane Mouton)
  • In Search of Excellence  (Peters again)
  • If it ain’t broke… break it!  (Robert J. Kriegel)
  • The Pursuit of Wow!  (Is there no end to Peters’s phrase-making?)
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