The resource bargain

The Resource Bargain is the ‘deal' by which some degree of autonomy is agreed between the Senior Management and its junior counterparts. The bargain declares: out of all the activities that System One elements might undertake, THESE will be tackled (and not THOSE), and the resources negotiated to those ends will be provided.

However autocratic or democratic (or even anarchic) your Resource Bargaining proves to be, the governing mode of management is Accountability. Please think about this responsibility for resources provided in terms (not of financial probity, not of emotional dependency, but) of variety engineering. Can you possibly itemize every single thing that the subsidiary does, demand a report on it, and expect a justification? Obviously not. Therefore accountability is an attenuation of high-variety happenings [and] investment is a variety attenuator.

EXAMINE precisely how accountability is exercised and especially what attenuators (totals, averages, key indicators) are used.  If in the end, you are appalled to discover that the machinery is inadequate, that Senior Management just does not have Requisite Variety, then you had better own up.

Stanford Beer

<a href="/node/16119">Diagnosing organizational behaviors</a>