Dave Snowden

Reducing your employees to numbers

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Another reference from Willem, this time to a reported attempt to create mathematical models of 50,000 of IBM’s tech consultants. Now I have not verified this one directly, but the article is from Business Week. The idea it seems is to automate management by capturing every aspects (keystrokes etc) of a persons life. Now there is no valid moral reason that I can think of that would justify this type of intrusive research. I suppose the redeeming feature is that a mathematical model could never do this in any practical (or for that matter theoretical) way or at least I hope it cannot. The justification given (my paraphrase) is as follows Imagine that your boss finally recognizes your strengths,then he puts you into situations where you will thrive. Now this does beyond scary it’s perverted. How did this ever through any ethical review committee? Was there even one in place? How can the 50,000 employees have given informed consent to this level of data capture? Do they know what is being done?

Please, would someone tell me this is an early April Fool? Maybe the story is exaggerated or just crude sensationalism? I sincerely hope so.