Scientific management

Frederick Winslow Taylor, famous for running around with a clipboard and timing employees to increase efficiency, created scientific management.

Scientific management is this idea that you have managers analyze workflows to be faster and cheaper from the day before.

But can you be faster than instant? Can you be more accurate than 100%? Can you get cheaper than free?

You’re at a race to the bottom.

Too often we are caught in this idea that if someone makes X, I’ll make X but only cheaper.

That’s not art. That’s not making someone sing. That’s not being remarkable.

If you are going to make something just a little cheaper (or faster or accurate), we are not going to pick you. You cannot out Walmart Walmart.

There is an alternative: We can race to the top.

We can create something that is meaningful. We can make something that needs to be made. We can do something that needs to be done. We can help someone who needs to be helped. We can make our art.

None of this has to do with compliance. None of this has to do with being the fastest or the cheapest. Putting on a show is about emotional labor. It isn’t about digging the ditch we are being told to dig.

Not everyone is going to embrace this: There is no map. There is no recipe for putting a smile on someone’s face.