You can make a lot of decisions just based on local information, I think, but also if you think about the layers of management and hierarchy within most organizations, and what is the job of those managers to do. Well, in one sense it is to direct and coordinate the work, in other sense they are information, their job is to provide information, their job is to take information from the top level of the company and translate that in to actions and plans at the front line. And also their job, in the other direction, is to take what’s happening in the front line and translate that so it makes sense to the senior executives.
Now I’m going to get into a kind of… this may be a radical thought here, and I haven’t actually blogged this one yet, but here’s my thought. For the last fifty years, we’ve been automating a lot of manual and factory work, and we’ve got robots doing a lot of that, and the factories are in many cases more productive with fewer workers. You know, the next… you know, what’s going to happen with the information revolution is, a lot of that management work is going to not be done by people any more. So all that information that needs to be translated from the front line up to the senior executives… oh a lot of management work can be actually automated with information systems. If the front line person can have access to all the information that’s needed for them to do their job effectively, why do you need a manager?