Untangling cause and effect

One of the most useful books I read last year was The Halo Effect, which debunks many of the management fads and mantras that pass as holy writ in many companies. Phil Rosenzweig laments the shoddy methodology that invalidates so much “research” into management.

Fortunately, there are a few management thinkers who buck the trends Rosenzweig chronicles. Andy Hargadon is one of my favorites. In his latest post he questions whether the popular vision of Google accurately captures the keys to an innovative corporate culture (Hargadon’s post is a response to a very good Adam Lashinsky article in Fortune): Hargadon’s cautionary conclusion:

The next time someone points out an organization’s innovative innovation practices, think hard about whether those practices were there when the real innovation took place.  Then think about where you’ve seen them before, and what happened to those companies.

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