In his 1967 book on Organizational Intelligence, Harold Wilensky praises President Franklin Roosevelt for his unorthodox but apparently effective management style.
“Roosevelt devised an administrative structure that would baffle any conventional student of public administration.” (p53)
. @tonyjoyce Roosevelt set up “constructive rivalry … structuring work so that clashes would be certain”. Wilensky on #orgintelligence pic.twitter.com/MczcrYlypI
— Richard Veryard (@richardveryard) April 8, 2017
A horrible management technique designed to keep your subordinates so busy fighting with each other they can’t challenge you for leadership https://t.co/WSOiHagBOx
— Jon H Ayre (@EnterprisingA) April 8, 2017
In contrast with FDR’s approach, Wilensky notes some episodes where White House intelligence systems were not fit for purpose, including Korea (Truman) and the Bay of Pigs (Kennedy).
What about President Trump’s approach? @tonyjoyce suggests that Trump is failing FDR’s first construct – checking and balancing official intelligence vs unorthodox sources. However, Reuters (via the Guardian) quotes Republican strategist Charlie Black, who believes Trump’s White House reflects his traditional approach to running his business. “He’s always had a spokes-to-the-wheel management style,” said Black. “He wants people with differing views among the spokes.“
Reuters, Kushner and Bannon agree to ‘bury the hatchet’ after White House peace talks (Guardian, 9 April 2017)