Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, is a boss. He had long avoided having any employees, even in his Dilbert entertainment empire. But, as an investor in a restaurant, he has ended up managing a location, at the risk of becoming a pointy-haired boss himself. Instead of the cartoon boss who knows nothing about technology, Adams runs the risk of knowing nothing about restaurants. Here is Scott’s blog post and discussion about the article.
Scott says, in the Times article:
“Certainly I’m an example of the Dilbert Principle,” he said. “I can’t cook. I can’t remember customers’ orders. I can’t do most of the jobs I pay people to do.”
But Adams is trying, he goes on to say:
In sizing up his own struggles as boss, he said: “The toughest thing is I have trouble being evil. I never punish mistakes, and it’s impossible for me to ask people to work harder. So my defense is to make sure people are happy about being here.”
Struggles? This whole notion of “we have to punish people for mistakes,” maybe that can be replaced with real systemic problem solving? It’s one thing if somebody is stealing from the register — no time to be understanding, but I wonder what other mistakes happen in a restaurant? And are they primarily caused by the system, as Deming always taught (and as we often see in factories and in hospitals). I’d assume that would be the case.
Anyway, good luck to Dilbert the Boss.
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