Telecast on CNBC on 10 July 2010

This episode dealt with the fundamentals of management theory. Every B-school teaches students that what cannot be measured cannot be managed. Implicit in this comment is that there are many things out there that cannot be measured, hence cannot be managed. But is that true? We cannot measure our relationships yet we manage them one way or another. The need for measurement comes from the desire to get to a truth that is independent of human bias, independent of human beings. But is truth independent of humanity. Organizations are a bunch of human beings – so an organization’s truth can never be objective. It will be subjective. It will be informed and influenced by the goalpost and the values one chooses to believe in. While writing this I remembered lines from an Alvar poet (Tamil mystics who lived at least a thousand years earlier): “I wonder who is measuring. I wonder what is measured. I wonder who determines the measuring scale. Are they different or the same?”

Segment 1: What can be measured?

Segment 2: Objective versus Subjective measures

Segment 3: What are you worth?