Tag Archives: management

Science and management – a clash of cultures


Found this while weeding out some old computer files. It certainly described the conflict between science and management I experienced while working – particularly since the reforms of the early 90s. “Science” became a dirty word while “profit” and management-speak became almost compulsory.

A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost.

He reduced altitude and spotted a woman below. He descended a bit more and shouted,”Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

The woman below replied, “You’re in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You’re between 55 and 56 degrees north latitude and between 3 and 4 degrees west longitude.”

“You must be a scientist,” said the balloonist.

“I am,” replied the woman, “How did you know?”

“Well,” answered the balloonist. “everything you told me is, technically correct, but I’ve no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help at all. If anything, you’ve delayed my trip.”

The woman below responded. “You must be in Management.”

“I am,” replied the balloonist, “but how did you know?”

“Well,” said the woman, “you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air.  You made a promise which you’ve no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems.

The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it’s my fault.”

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Expelled Bingo

Management dogma and “management speak” are probably familiar to anyone who has worked in large institute. This really got out of hand in New Zealand during the 1990 and continued into the present decade. For a while there was a Bingo game making the rounds. This was a card containing sets of management “buzz words”. The idea was that we could amuse ourselves during management-imposed meetings by ticking off each buzz word as it was used. In theory, the first person to fill there card should have jumped to their feet, shouting “Bingo.”

Last September Skeptico introduced an ID Creationist Bingo (see below). This brings together all those arguments we here so often from the Intelligent design/creationist people. I’ve come to recognise them as mantras. This could be put to good use. Just imagine – these bingo cards could be handed out to people attending viewings of the anti-evolution film Expelled: Not Intelligence Allowed. From what I have heard the film is full of these mantras. I have a vision of patrons periodically jumping to their feet during the screening and shouting “Bingo!” Continue reading