Winter night, looking down to Chateau D'Oex. (c) 2008 E. Forrest Christian. All rights reserved.

Does Requisite Organization really work over a weekend? (REDUX)

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Eight years ago, back when I was Google-ranked #1 or #2 for such things, I asked if the Requisite Organization of Elliott Jaques would really work wonders over a weekend, as Dr. Jaques implied in his book, Requisite Organization (2nd Ed.). Paul Tremlett had an interesting take from conversations with the late Dr. Jaques. My best recollection of EJ on …

Elliott Jaques’s “Intellectual Odyssey”

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Douglas Kirsner of Deakin University spoke with Elliott Jaques before he died, and wrote up the results from the perspective of another psychoanalyst. Jaques abandoned psychoanalysis but would later refer to that as perhaps going overboard. It’s an interesting read for those of you who are interested in what he thought of things at the end of his life. This …

Full Employee Participation in Policy-Making Through Representative Council (workplace democracy)

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Wilfred Brown, the Managing Director and Chairman of Glacier Metal Company during Elliott Jaques’s work there, continued to believe that all employees had interest in changes to POLICY. He delimited that against the rights of managers to do their jobs within policy. What was policy was defined within the works council. Elliott Jaques abandoned this later in favor of trusting managers to represent their subordinates, in direct contradiction to his supposed value of creating systems rather than trusting people to be “good” as managers. Here’s why Brown was right and Jaques was not.

Church near Junction City, Kansas. ca. 1942. John Vachon, photographer. US Library of Congress collection.

Elliott Jaques on the Problems of Church Organization

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Many of the work-levels people have worked with churches on their organizational issues. This includes the Church of England and the Illinois association of American Baptist churches. (Anyone know of more?) Let’s take a look at what some of them have said. Elliott Jaques, who coined the term “mid-life crisis” and was an accomplished psychoanalyst in addition to be a …

Belgian royal conservatory's dome, interior with sun. (c) E. Forrest Christian

Alistair Mant speaks on Wilfred Brown and Industrial Democracy

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Alistair Mant, Chairman, Socio-technical Study Group, spoke at the 2005 GO Society Conference in Toronto about his experiences and work with Wilfred Brown, the chairman of Glacier Metal Company, where the ideas about work levels were originally worked out. Mant makes the point that well before Dr. Jaques and his Tavistock colleagues came onto the scene, Brown was working to …

Quick Tale of Glacier and Wilfred Brown

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From Rushworth Kidder’s Moral Courage, chapter one. Walter Eric Duckworth (OBE), who I believe went on to serve as Head of the Fulmer Ltd. and Chairman of the London Metallurgical Society, describes an incident early in his career with Glacier Metal Company, right about the time that Tavistock and Elliott Jaques started working with the company. He is also a …

Conductor checks his watch to find out how much time remains at the Bloomington, Illinois, stop on the Turboliner run between St. Louis, Missouri, and Chicago. Photo by Charles O'Rear for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1970). (NARA record: 3403717)

It’s About Time, Underachievers!

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When last we left them, the three union men Glacier Metal Company managers had burst upon Elliott Jaques with the brilliant solution that had come to them while drinking: the reason why some people got paid more than others had to do with how long it took to get paid. My fictionalization aside, what made this any more brilliant than …