May 30, 2009

I wish

"Fred Hilmer, now vice-chancellor of the university of New South Wales in Australia, but previously a McKinsey partner, business school dean and CEO of the Fairfax media group, says that, while you need some clever people, organisations with lots of them can go wrong fast"

Hilmer has denied the spirit and/or intent of the alleged quote.

Hands up everyone who has ever experienced the burden and horrors of working in an organization with “lots” of clever people?


Anyone at all?


  1. Never been a problem at my workplace. Oversupply of clever people? Bwahahaha !

    I once heard that every workplace needs a few "lazy" people as they have ways of discovering nifty shortcuts in work processes. Well, that's my excuse anyway.

  2. Yeah, the whole notion gave me a chuckle, not to mention a churtle, Dan.

    It's a *problem* I wish I could see in action some day.

    Of course, there are an awful lot of organisations filled with people who believe their organisations are brimming with clever people. Delusions are good. Humans need delusions.

    According to one theory the ideal mix for any business is the smart & lazy and the dumb & energetic, which is a little dispiriting, as it clearly means I'm not nearly clever enough to get away with being lazy, yet not dumb enough to pour my soul's worth of energy into the job.

    Damn it!

    I am one of the mediocre after all?


  3. geoff5:12 PM

    I've worked with three organisations in my life each of which employed in excess of 10,000 people.

    However,in my experience, remarkedly, each employed only one clever person.

    Appalling I know. I still can't understand how they survived.

  4. Alas Geoff, organisations survive, and thrive, most often despite themselves and the people within, not because of them.

    Alas, alas, the business book has yet to be written that draws attention to this unpalatable, regretable, face of reality.