June 22, 2006
What's In A Name?Recently I heard about a company who, after struggling with quality problems, appointed a Vice President of Quality. Is this an example of a growing trend to deal with practical problems by simply manipulating job titles?
Other examples include titles like Delivery Manager (very popular, these days) and even Retention Loyalty Manager. This is a new way of getting things done. If quality is bad, simple paint the word "Quality" on the door of someone's office, and - bish-bosh - that's quality taken care of. Developers not delivering? Hey, why not give someone a hat with the word "Delivery" on it, and just watch those new features roll in. Customers not sticking around? They'll be begging you to sign them up for another year when they hear you've got a "Retention Loyalty Manager"...
This stupidity seems to have come from the world of UK politics. Drugs a problem? Then appoint a "Drugs Tzar", and the problem will simply vanish. Racism and sexism rife in the police force? Why not simply appoint an "Equal Opportunities Director" and marvel at how those 1950's attitudes melt away.
Simply by speaking the magic words, do we really believe we can have the desired practical effect? It's a malaise that's endemic throughout private and public organisations - that every problem has a management solution. (And, therefore, we will need more managers - isn't that nice?)
There's some good news, though: I've just been appointed European Director of Obscene Wealth And Unlimited Casual Sex. I wonder if I'll get a corner office...
Posted 14 years, 6 months ago on June 22, 2006