Bureaucratic Bollocks.

Just re-read the article I mentioned in yesterday’s blog: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/23/from-inboxing-to-thought-showers-how-business-bullshit-took-over

and it so beautifully captures and describes what I thought and increasingly knew about the cult of management and it’s bureaucratic bollocks in particular. I was struck by how the managerialism that has evolved over the last century or so combines the ‘new-age language of psychic liberation’ underpinned by ‘the threats of an authoritarian corporation’. So anyone who dares question the bollocks is sidelined or ‘liberated’ from their jobs. Just like a cult.

Now it’s easy to simply snipe and some might have grown weary of my sniping at what I eventually came to just call BB (bureaucratic bollocks) but I rarely did it unthinkingly and without it not passing my simple test: when presented with something by management I simply asked myself how does this improve our teaching for/with the students.

Surprisingly very little BB passed the test and I and other frontline education staff suffered from a ridiculous amount of stupid bureaucracy.  And we aren’t alone:

“One of the corrosive effects of business bullshit can be seen in the statistic that 43% of all teachers in England are considering quitting in the next five years. The most frequently cited reasons are increasingly heavy workloads caused by excessive administration, and a lack of time and space to devote to educating students.”

And it’s a similar story in other professions and in both public and private organisations.

The final paragraphs of the essay capture what I in my sad little way tried to do at schools I taught in and represents a call to arms:

“But this does not need to be the case. Business bullshit can and should be challenged. This is a task each of us can take up by refusing to use empty management-speak. We can stop ourselves from being one more conduit in its circulation. Instead of just rolling our eyes and checking our emails, we should demand something more meaningful.

Clearly, our own individual efforts are not enough. Putting management-speak in its place is going to require a collective effort. What we need is an anti-bullshit movement. It would be made up of people from all walks of life who are dedicated to rooting out empty language. It would question management twaddle in government, in popular culture, in the private sector, in education and in our private lives.

The aim would not just be bullshit-spotting. It would also be a way of reminding people that each of our institutions has its own language and rich set of traditions which are being undermined by the spread of the empty management-speak. It would try to remind people of the power which speech and ideas can have when they are not suffocated with bullshit. By cleaning out the bullshit, it might become possible to have much better functioning organisations and institutions and richer and fulfilling lives.”

Aux armes citoyens!

DilbertCliches

Keep on moving forward, love Duncan.

 

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