Why do we associate hierarchy with knowledge? Why do we believe that the higher up you are, the more you know?

Knowledge can only be developed in operations. The further you go away from operations in command-and-control organisations, the more managers rely on reports to ‘know’ what is going on. Such reports are usually full of financial data.

What knowledge do they provide about what’s going on? The best they can do is describe – in financial terms – what happened. Like a thermometer that can tell you the temperature, but no more than that. They can’t cast any light on what’s going on.

Henry Mintzberg insisted strategy is in operations; Taiichi Ohno believed operations are the strategy.