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Marketing consultant Johnny Moore writes about “a creeping extension of the need for academic qualifications, the ability to write clever essays” in The Tyranny of the Explicit.

He says:

The intention is good, but the practical effect is to engulf people in explicit, complicated systems and reduce their freedom – based on an unconscious assumption that everyone is not to be trusted. We give ascendancy to people who are really great at theory and effectively degrade practice. I think its rooted in the idea that one person or a group of people can effectively oversee a system and control how it works with written instructions.

One aspect of this is the arse-covering qualifications provide. If, say, a marketing manager hires a copywriter with a degree in copy-writing, they feel they are not to blame if the writer fails to deliver.

There’s an incentive in most organisations to engage the best-qualified person for a task, not the most experienced, best skilled or highest performer.

2 thoughts on “Johnny Moore tyranny of the explicit

  1. […] As a rule, knowledge workers have a minimum of a university undergraduate degree, but that’s not always the case. Older knowledge workers tend to have fewer formal qualifications than younger knowledge workers. That’s partly because higher education wasn’t so ubiquitous when they started out — university isn’t the only path to knowledge. […]

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