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The USA is not an entrepreneurial start-up

I considered titling this post "Scott Adams, the gift that keeps on giving." In this case, Mr. Adams has blessed me with content, specifically replying to Adam's post Is President Trump Doing Management Wrong? Perhaps unsurprisingly, I have thoughts, a reaction to Adam's argument that Trump is engaging in entrepreneurial management:

The United States of America is not a startup. It's a 200+ year old organization. What's at stake is not somebody's job or a profit margin, what's at stake are people's lives.

In this case, there are thousands of customs and border agents who have to enforce this rule at hundreds of ports of entry. You can babble about "entrepreneurial management" all you want to, but these thousands of people are trying to execute a policy on the fly. The average border agent isn't a lawyer, and will face dozens of exceptions. For example, what if the person has a green card? What if the person is a dual national (US and Syrian)? What if they are a dual national of Syria and Canada? What do you do if they were already on the plane when the order was signed? Does the order revoke previously-granted refugee status or only new refugees?

Scott - you used to be an IT professional. Would you roll out a new software package to thousands of end-users without getting some of them to test it? Would you roll out that package without training end-users or at least sending out a clearly-written cheat sheet? Would you buy the package without having the business unit managers at least look at it to see if it will work for them?

In this case, none of that was done. The Director of DHS, the man in charge of the people implementing the order, saw the order after it was signed and it went into immediate effect. All of those questions and I'm sure 20 others had to be decided on the fly by whoever pulled weekend duty at whatever port of entry they came up. In what universe is that a good idea?

Shorter: an entrepreneurial airline needs to make sure it's planes don't crash. That didn't happen here.

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This is the personal blog of Chris Gerrib, and all opinions expressed here are solely his own. Commenters are welcome; however please be polite to me and my other readers. I reserve the right to delete comments that are rude, inappropriate or otherwise objectionable at my sole discretion. The opinions expressed in a comment are not necessarily mine, and if I do not delete a comment that should not be construed as my agreement with the commenter.

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