President Donald Trump's management of the executive branch in his first weeks has elicited a scathing review from some experts, according to the New York Times.
"This is so basic, it’s covered in the introduction to the MBA program that all our students take," Lindred Greer, an assistant professor of organizational behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business., told the Times.
Trump "desperately needs to take the course," she said.
Jeffrey Pfeffer, professor of organizational behavior at Stanford, told the Times that Trump’s executive actions "far from any responsible management approach."
"Of course, this isn’t new," he added. "His campaign also violated every prudent management principle. Everyone including our friends on Wall Street somehow believed that once he was president he’d change. I don’t understand that logic."
There's an abundance of literature and data about effective management of complicated organizations, and "the core principles have served many leaders really well," Jeffrey Polzer, professor of human resource management at Harvard Business School, told the Times.
"It’s really common sense: You want to surround yourself with talented people who have the most expertise, who bring different perspectives to the issue at hand. Then you foster debate and invite different points of view in order to reach a high-quality solution," he said.
But that "requires an openness to being challenged, and some self-awareness and even humility to acknowledge that there are areas where other people know more than you do," he added.
For example, Trump's failure to give an early heads-up about his final immigration executive order to secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly, and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, was "insane" since they "have the expertise and should be on top of the data," Greer told the newspaper.
"Ignoring them leads to bad decisions and is also incredibly demoralizing," Greer said.
And when press secretary Sean Spicer responded to the circulation of a draft cable questioning the effectiveness of the immigration order with the comment, "They should either get with the program or they can go," it was exactly the wrong thing to say, Greer said.
Comments like that "will discourage anyone from speaking up. You end up with group think, an echo chamber where people only say what they think the president wants to hear," Greer said.
Some Trump defenders have said the president thrives on chaos, and it has proved to be an effective management approach for him in the past.
But the experts disagree, the Times reported.
"I’m not aware of anyone who advocates that," Polzer told the newspaper. "I don’t really know what’s going on in the White House, so I don’t feel comfortable commenting on that specifically. But I can say in general that in organizational settings, less chaos is a good thing."
If this were the private sector, “someone would be fired,” Greer said.
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