The two issues were related though. Many of the new ‘toys’ were expensive exercises in centralising control. As the business had grown, the core management team had lost confidence in its ability to control a growing team. Incentives had changed and discretion had been removed from line managers.
Some issues that had devolved to them had become subject to central control and standardisation, in ways that were not working. Quite simply, the line managers had stopped managing because they were not given enough discretion to do so: from arranging shift patterns to making short term decisions on scheduling and many other matters where previously their on the spot knowledge had kept productivity high in ways that no standardised system could deliver.
The cost of that loss of flexibility, when added to management’s new toys, had eliminated the bottom line almost in its entirety.
This from the man who would plan the entire economy from the centre – see Green New Deal.