Thursday, July 12, 2007

Management Back Asswards

It has been said that "education is wasted on the young." In other words when we have the chance to learn and explore the world, we aren't old enough to understand what a great opportunity it really is. Only after we are older do we realize all the things we could of done and learned if we had only known...


I think a corollary of this saying should be "management is wasted on the old." If you look around at any organization you will notice that most the upper management not only is "old" but it looks and thinks remarkably similar. While they all may not be “old white guys” they all seem to think like them.

I find it funny how you can walk into any company or organization in the world and ask the newest employee (after he/she has been there a few weeks) what is wrong with the it and he/she can tell you. But in 20 years time this same employee who is now in management can't.

This is because in general we only promote people who think like ourselves. By the time this young guy is promoted into upper management he is thinking just like the guys who promoted him. I think this is the main reason that the AEC/Highway industry hasn't been able to keep up with the technology. Sure everyone uses CADD today and very few current designer even know what a lead holder is (was). It is also the reason that very few of our senior management and engineers could actually use the tools they buy to design anything.

Because of this we are still printing paper plans and working in two dimensions instead of building from interactive models in three dimensions. I've been working in the Civil CADD area for over 20 odd years and we (with just a few isolated exceptions) are not doing anything with Civil CADD software that we couldn't do 20 years ago. It is such a waste. Just think were we might be today. If only. Am I the only one that feels this way?