Friday, June 18, 2004

The Humanized Business 

Dave Pollard has published an interesting article, which I would sum up as: bringing down business to its roots, i.e. individuals with a dream. With his 10 steps to entrepreneurship, Dave suggest you to forget about what is usually referred to as scientific management to focus on what you want to achieve and to give it some serious thoughts. Those damned MBA graduates would probably argue that scientific management has proven its success in bringing profitability to companies during the last decades. Even though this statement is being increasingly criticized, I tend to agree with it (I am an MBA graduate after all…). But the point here is that if you ask entrepreneurs the main reasons that brought them to start a new business, they almost never answer that they wanted to become rich. Their motivations are most often: liberty, having no boss, social recognition, make a living out of their passion. Money is usually mentioned after that. It’s only gravy.

Knowing that, it does not make sense to manage a business having only in mind the maximization of profitability. A good business is a business that brings an entrepreneur what she really wants. So yes Dave is right on many points, business is more than making money. It’s a human experience and managers who try to reduce it to debits and credits are missing the most important part.

However, not all is wrong about scientific management. After all, one needs to eat while having a great time with his business. Sound financial management is still necessary to make the dream last a lifetime.

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