Committee Quote of the Day

It has been said that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. The public sector seems obsessed with committee decision making, even the simplest of things have to be decided by the expert committee. Today�s quote of the day is from the British economist John Kay who cautions us against been addicted to committees:

Most decisions are wrong. Most experiments fail. It is tempting to believe that if we entrusted the future of our companies, our industries, our countries, to the right people they would lead us unerring to the promised land. Such hopes are always disappointed. Most of Thomas Edison�s inventions did not work, Ford, Morris and Mao ended their careers as sad, even risible figures. Bill Gates missed the significance of the Internet, Mrs Thatcher introduced the poll tax, and Napoleon died in exile on St Helena. Even extraordinarily talented people make big mistakes.

But because most decisions are wrong and most experiments fail, it is tempting to believe that we could manage businesses and states much better if only we assembled sufficient information and clever people, and debated the issues at length. This is how decision making is supposed to be in the public sector and in many large organizations.

(The Truth About Markets, p.105).


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This page contains a single entry by Paul published on November 13, 2004 1:33 PM.

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