Management theorists have a lot to answer for, writes Geoffrey James. From Six Sigma, which keeps consultants fat but achieves little else, to management by objectives, which involves lots of planning for things that never happen, their ideas look great on paper and fall flat in the real world. "In most cases, a new management fad means endless meetings, new buzzwords for the office toadies, and extra work that ends up either driving you crazy or your company out of business," James warns.

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