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This Focused Performance Weblog started life as a "business management blog" containing links and commentary related primarily to organizational effectiveness with a "Theory of Constraints" perspective, but is in the process of evolving towards primary content on interactive and mobile marketing. Think of it as about Focusing marketing messages for enhanced Performance. If you are on an archive page, current postings are found here.

Monday, February 03, 2003

A few days ago on 1/31/03, David Lyttle responding to my post of the Bill Hodgdon quote about managing causes...
According to Peter Drucker, "Managing means taking action to make the desired results come to pass"

Manage, "To direct or control the use of".
Cause, "The producer of an effect"

The act of creation is itself an effect.
Cause (the producer) cannot be managed (directed or controlled).
I'm not sure where David is coming from with this, other than the fact that all causes can be further decomposed as effects of deeper causes. The Drucker citation that David includes points to this directly, in my opinion, as the "actions" are the "causes" of the "desired results" or "effects" of a managed system. The effect of making money as a result of a series of actions, alluded to in the original quote, is actually only a further cause (a necessary condition) for the real goal of such an organizational system -- sustainable survival. There is definitely a cyclic nature, with causal loops and feedbacks in the cause-and-effect structure of a situation, but an effective manager knows how to winnow out the real causes from the effects, and counts on prudently planned changes to those causes to drive desired effects.

It's interesting. In a subsequent posting on his blog on 2/1/03, David talks about contagion, and a recommendation to impact the cause (exposure) to minimize the effect (infection). You can't really manage the infection, so you must manage the cause.

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