Principles of Dysmanagement

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This series of observations are based on the distinction between mismanagement, which we use to mean bad management in general, and dysmanagement, which is mismanagement resulting specifically from having the wrong people in charge.

Some mismanagement can be corrected with better information and training, but dysmanagement can only be corrected through personnel changes. Since dysmanagement includes hiring and promotion policies, it tends to accrete until it causes an organizational crisis.

The difference between general mismanagement and dysmanagement is the difference between accidentally putting on the wrong color shirt and being colorblind. Everyone can make a mistake, but certain cognitive traits unfortunately make individuals unsuited for specific tasks.

Dysmanagement is a feature of an organization that is “intellectually upside-down,” meaning that its social thinkers have promoted themselves above the idea thinkers.

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