The Visible Hand - Benefits
The synergistic effect of economic activity which Adam Smith described as “The Invisible Hand” may seem a bit abstract or even mystical to some. The aim of this book is to offer managerial tools of accountability to those who wish to engage in, or provide services to enterprise thereby taking a conscious and visible hand in reaping the benefits of which the famous economist wrote.
For those who grow impatient waiting for the “invisible hand” of the economy gratuitously to deliver wealth, an alternative might be to get entrepreneurially active, employing the visible hand of controls and measures which have given this book its title.
James A. Garfield said: “things don’t just turn up in this world until somebody turns them up”. Another wit has put it this way: “don’t itch for something you’re not prepared to scratch for”.
The Visible Hand is a compendium of business tools and why they work or fail. It is a practical “toolkit” for business consultants and practising managers.
The aim is not to cover the whole range of management ideas and techniques or even all of those that have survived scepticism and vogue fickleness in favour of newer buzz phrases. The focus is on real tools that have yielded and continue to provide cogent and impressive results.
The style is light-hearted yet technically intact, hopefully entertaining yet instructive.
In addition to the techniques of measurement and control, the book contains provocative ideas on some philosophical questions such as the morality of profit-seeking and the creation of wealth. It examines some common fallacies, provides reasons for apparent failure of economic principles and debunks some sacred cows that meander in the meadows of managerial mystique.
The common thread of a controlling hand asserts its authority across a wide range of potential entrepreneurial quagmires from productivity to problem solving; from meetings to manpower and from projections to project management.
An environment of measurement and control can effectively provide an enabling hand through which the desired economic flow may be grasped.
In other words the benefits of Smith’s “Invisible Hand” could become a cascade given the intervention of The Visible Hand.
How could the tools of The Visible Hand achieve that? Well, for so many people hard work and accountability are not forthcoming without controls.
It is largely through measurement that people and their performance can be made to “measure up”. Measurement exposes people and ventures to competition and is the very essence of performance management.
As indicated the appalling extent to which accountability is today shrugged off both in the public and private sectors calls for tools that can pinpoint responsibility and can show up the degree to which incumbents are facing up to such responsibility.
There are specific benefits offered to those who are seen as potential readers. These are summarised:
• Learning skill and competence in applying and developing management techniques.
• Equipping managers to develop and enforce accountability.
• Qualifying for professional examinations and diplomas.
• Utilising computer power to a greater and more practical extent in decision-making.
• Enhancing the performance of business consultants.
• Equipping managers to critically examine the validity of existing ratios and measures and to devise statistically rational controls.