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Managers Are Supposed to Manage

January 21, 2014

Or maybe, governors are supposed to govern.  John Fund noted this today in a post about Cover Oregon… for Oregonians, Cover Oregon means a ton of dumb billboards, a lot of tax money, and otherwise bupkis.

Democratic governor John Kitzhaber, himself a physician, admits he was “entirely outside the loop” on development of the $160 million website. He’s earned widespread ridicule for his lax management as he prepares to run for reelection. The Oregonain reports that some of his officials actively tried to squelch internal critics who warned the website was doomed: “The Oregon Health Authority last January withheld payment from the company hired to monitor the project, claiming its persistent criticism was inaccurate and inflammatory.” Just two months later, in March 2013, Rocky King, Cover Oregon’s executive director told the Oregonian he was constantly being asked by legislators “will it work?” His stock answer: “I haven’t the foggiest idea.” King has admitted he had very little experience in IT, so he was no doubt being truthful.

I don’t get it.  In fact, I don’t get most of the conversations I’ve seen about health care and the various failures on the federal and state level.  In almost all of them, the leaders say they’re not technical and that they just assumed things would be working fine.  Or that they were out of the loop.  Or that fairies were going to fix stuff.

Let’s look at it a different way.  If these people were talking about building a road, would you expect them to be out of the loop if the road abruptly ended in a cliff and cars drove off?  No.  You’d expect that at some point they’d go look with their own eyes and see that stuff’s not working.  It seems to me that some people are giving leaders a pass because they’ve never dropped some HTML code on a page, so technology is apparently beyond them.  Sorry, I don’t do that.

Managers have to manage, and if that means they need a cocktail-party understanding of what they’re leading then so be it.  But total deniability of what many of them consider the most important thing they’ll do in this term for the legacy of society…? Yea, I don’t get that, I don’t believe it, and I wonder about the message they’re communicating to future leaders.

Pardon me while I go make sure all my stuff is working well today.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 10, 2014 6:43 am

    Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.

    Look advanced to more added agreeable from you!
    However, how could we communicate?

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