Is President Trump Doing Management Wrong? by Scott Adams

President Trump is managing like an entrepreneur, not like an executive in a large corporation. It’s unsettling for fans of procedure, bureaucracy, and committees, but it just may work. From Scott Adams on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

I made the mistake of turning on CNN yesterday and saw all the hypnotized pundits trying to work the secret persuasion word “chaos” into every comment about President Trump. That’s your tell that none of the pundits are offering independent opinions. They are part of the hive mind led by some uncredited persuader on their side. Someone told them to say “chaos” a lot, and so they do. This might signal the return of Godzilla. Reminds me of “dark,” their hive-mind word for the summer of 2016.

It appears that Trump’s counter-persuasion for “chaos” involves framing his administration as “disruptive.” That’s a good persuasion move because it doesn’t deny the observations. A disruption looks a lot like chaos from the outside. Two movies on one screen.

The interesting question to me is this: How do we know whether President Trump is doing a good job or a bad one? What standard do we use for comparison? If you are not comparing Trump’s performance to some objective standard, you’re not saying anything at all.

Does it make sense to compare President Trump’s performance to an imaginary president who didn’t get elected? I don’t think science recognizes your imagination as the base case for an experiment. It just feels like it should be. That’s an illusion.

Does it make sense to compare President Trump’s performance to past presidents who got a lot done in the first week? Well, maybe, if such a person existed. No one has ever tried moving at Trump’s speed before. We expect the slow-moving traditional leader to create less “chaos” than the entrepreneurial and disruptive leader. But don’t you have to include the benefits in this comparison? The whole point of Trump’s flurry of activity is that he’s trying to create good outcomes. We don’t know if the good outcomes will pan out. All we know is that it was a bit messy at the start.

To continue reading: Is President Trump Doing Management Wrong?

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