Bix sits in confusion (Detail), from "Heaven's to Betsy!", Club "16" comics

Do Best Practices Destroy Long Term Value in Knowledge Management & Process Design?

E. Forrest Christian Knowledge, Organizations Leave a Comment

Jack Vinson has an interesting report on a recent presentation by Bob Hiebeler of St. Charles Partners. The fascinating part was the discussion of “best practices”: it got me thinking about James C. Scott’s Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (The Institution for Social and Policy St) and what it implies for …

Run on East Side Bank, N.Y. 1912 February 16. Bain News Service via Library of Congress.

The Abilene Paradox of Escalation of Commitment: How We Can All Agree To Go Over the Cliff

E. Forrest Christian Project Management 6 Comments

When a project starts heading south, you would think that the rats would start abandoning the ship and the sponsor would quickly pull the plug to minimize losses. But that’s not what happens. Sponsors’ commitment to projects going bad actually seems to grow. The literature is littered with examples of sponsors continuing to spend money on a project that is …

Leaving Yongsan Station. (c) Danleo (CC BY 2.5). Via Wikimedia Commons.

De-escalation of Commitment to Projects

E. Forrest Christian Organizations, Project Management, Reviews - Articles, Risk Management Leave a Comment

There is a large body of work dealing with the escalation of commitment in IT projects, how managers continue to throw good money after bad, increasing their commitment to a project that has little chance of succeeding. For example, Gustavo Dimello has an interesting summary (“To Pull or Not To Pull the Plug: When Managers Commit Themselves to Failure”) of …

“The Fearless Executive” by Alan Downs: a quick book review

E. Forrest Christian Reviews - Books Leave a Comment

Alan Downs is a very successful executive coach who has worked the inside of a large corporation himself. He is even the author of an intriguing memoir of sorts about axing huge numbers of the employees for the corporation. The Fearless Executive rejects the very premise of the title: there are no fearless executives, only executives who face and work …