When Fredrick Winslow Taylor designed the world’s first modern assembly line and forever changed industry, persuasion was the last thing on his mind. Taylor believed assembly line workers simply needed clear direction on how to execute prescribed tasks. His belief, which manifested in both physical design and organizational structures during the decades that followed, was that the human factor should be removed from the production equation to the greatest extent possible. Stopwatch and measuring tape in hand, Taylor designed and advocated for systems that maximized efficiency and predictability through vertical integration and top-down control. And with that, the 20thcentury’s great quest for bureaucratic efficiency began.
Sometimes persuasion beats direction.
Chriss Fussell on Harvard Business