Kenneth and William Hopper have done us a great service.
Their award-winning book, The Puritan Gift, offers a bracing diagnosis of what ails America.
The Hoppers argue that we've squandered the gift bequeathed on us by our Puritan forbears:
- Commitment to creating a better society, indeed, a "shining city on the hill",
- Putting the needs of the group ahead of individual needs,
- A willingness, and pleasure in, getting our hands dirty,
- Organizational genius, and
- A respect for, and comfort with, technology
Since the end of WWII, management practice has been hijacked by the Cult of the (So-Called) Expert.
Business schools have flooded our organizations with MBA's who "should have a skull & crossbones tattooed across their foreheads."
The cult's mental models, they tell us, include:
- "We can manage by the numbers, from a distance. We don't have to get our hands dirty."
- Credentialism -- the more degrees, preferably business degrees, the better
- "Every man, woman, thing for themselves!"
- "The common good -- what's that?"
- "Top-down control -- what can the front-line worker possibly teach us?"
Raw, passionate stuff!
The book has much to teach Lean thinkers. Their discussion of the meeting of East & West in post-war Japan is not to be missed.
Well done, Ken and Bill!