Manufacturing work

All work can be divided into creation and coordination.

Creation is the process of directly transforming matter to make it something more useful or valuable. Examples include mining, manufacturing, painting, cooking and even computer programming. Some creators can thrive without coordinators, but coordinators cannot exist in the absence of creators.

Coordination also comes in different forms. To manage is to instruct creators. Management is self perpetuating, since some managers instruct other managers. When two managers provide conflicting instructions for the same task, you have company politics.

Creation is easier to measure than coordination. The value that coordination creates is often opaque and can hide behind complexity. As a company grows, its coordination workforce can increase out of proportion to its needs. And while material waste created by creators is visible, the waste generated by coordinators is invisible.

Running a business well is the art of keeping coordination to a bare minimum.

Inspiration: Bertrand Russel

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