Messiness is Good?

Time to get organized? Not so fast, interview of David Freedman on Marketplace. Marketplace is a great show on PBS that covers economics and related matters. This interview, though, fails to inspire me.

RYSSDAL: Is it expensive in a corporate sense to be neat?

FREEDMAN: It’s extremely expensive. I mean let’s start off with the fact that U.S. corporations spend some $45 billion a year on management consultants. They come in and they help companies figure out what’s the best way to organize your work processes and your work force.

Ok, first what does hiring consultants having to do with being neat? Basically it seems the interviewee has a book with the gimmick that being a mess is good – creativity and all that. Yes, I am sure sometimes messiness helps (and I am sure having a easy, catchy, gimmick is a good marketing idea). But as a management strategy it seems lousy to me. 5s is the correct strategy (even if I fail to do so – my desk tends to get messy as I get busy and… which is often 🙁 See: Planning 5s? First Know Why!

On the point of hiring consultants haphazardly being a waste of money – true. Bob Sutton wrote the excellent: Management Advice: Which 90% is Crap?. What percentage of books fit that bill – over 90% I would say. And I have a guess where the interviewees book fits.

Related: Management Advice FailuresCurious Cat Investing and Economics BlogVisually Lean

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