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Fly-By critics

Some time ago when I thought the MBA would be useful, I took a graduate course on Organizational Management. One of the case studies was the M&M Mars Corporation run by two billionaire brothers whose family had started the Mars confectionery company. These Mars brothers were used as an example of how not to manage. Their middle managers had found a name for their management style, and called it Fly-By Management. The Mars brothers would fly in from corporate headquarters, spend a single morning or afternoon poking around, upbraid everyone for incompetence, tell everyone how horrible everything was and what needed fixing, and then fly off again. This struck the middle managers as something like a seagull that would fly in, crap, and fly off again, hence the name. For future business managers there were obvious lessons in leadership and morale, as well as responsibility and follow-through.
In relating this I am reminded of certain “critics” of Anthroposophy who swoop in to anthroposophical mail lists, crap all over, and fly off again. The style is similar, and the results are likely to be the same: a bunch of annoyed people who are wondering: what’s the point?

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