Having visited all three places mentionned, employee at KPMG, customer at Nordstroms’ and buyer (for my children) at McDonald’s, I know there is something here.


You quickly find the answer for questions like:


"How far do we go in empowering our people?” “To what extent do we impose uniformity?" Centralisation or devolution? Corporate discipline or personal initiative?


From KPMG Peat Marwick 1992 – ISBN 1 85’61 222 6


Traditional Total Quality theory sets great store by ’empowering your people’. Consultants quote with approval initiatives such as Nordstrom’s employee rulebook which contains just one rule: ’Use your own best judgement in all situations.


Then you come across McDonald’s which has a 600 page policy document, which lays out exactly what the employee has to do in every conceivable situation, from where to put patties on the grill to frequency of window washing.


So what’s the story? Do you tell people what to do, or leave it to their best judgement? It depends.


Our tools would give you the answers.


In McDonald’s, everyone follows the system, as prescribed. In the Nordstroms, there is no ’system’, as such. It depends, ultimately, on what matters to the customer. McDonald’s customers want a hot, tasty burger, quickly, and at a reasonable price. Nordstrom customers want personal, attentive, knowledgeable assistance; For the first, you need rigid adherence to a strict operating regimen which rules out the potential for human error, and thus delivers a product which meets specifications with absolute consistency. For the second, you need empowered employees.


Management gurus have made it fashionable to centralize or decentralize, declared open war on centralisation in organisations. But is it really that simple? Centralisation bad; devolution good? Or reverse? Follow the trend?


Our approach: In fact, all businesses need a degree of centralisation, and a degree of local autonomy. How to find the balance? Map useful autonomy! That’s what we do for you. It saves months of management tine.