Continuing my reexamination of Scientology information accepted at face value, I am tackling the whole of LRH admin technology.
But before I dive into the technology itself, let me briefly cover from where I do this reexamining:
I have been an executive in companies for more than 23 years, 17 of them as a CEO – mostly very successful. I have studied LRH admin tech intensively while I was the CEO of U-MAN Norway from 1990-2000. I have implemented the LRH Org Board in several companies as well as Admin Scales, LRH communication systems, management by statistics, recruitment tech, marketing tech etc. I have also studied other management philosophies such as the ISO 9000 series, Six Sigma, Lean/TPS, ITIL, COBIT, PRINCE2 and a few others. I have extensive experience with ITIL and also PRINCE2. With this as part of the back-drop, let’s dig in.
The management philosophy in Scientology was created by L. Ron Hubbard for managing the various Scientology churches and organizations. The Organization called WISE (World Institute of Scientology Enterprises) was set up to promote this LRH Admin Tech. On the web site, we find:
“We disseminate the administrative works of renowned author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard to use in organizational, professional and private endeavors. The product of more than three decades of research, piloting and codification, this body of knowledge is the world’s most comprehensive system of management and represents the first true technology of management.”
“WISE is a fellowship of thousands of business people across the globe who recognize that the organizational and management principles developed by author L. Ron Hubbard have application to all businesses. And that where used, they greatly increase the prosperity and growth of an organization.
For 25 years WISE and its members have been disseminating these principles to business people everywhere.”
“Our two greatest assets are the uniform workability of L. Ron Hubbard’s organizational and management principles, and the dedication of our members.”
While the latter may be true, I dispute the “uniform workability of L. Ron Hubbard’s organizational and management principles”. In fact I dispute it’s overall workability. WISE has even gone so far as to call it “The only workable administrative technology“. Really?
Let’s take a few examples:
Recruitment: Hubbard teaches an organization to recruit many staff in parallel and then keep a big back door open for those who fail. I dispute this hire-and-waste principle. I believe it to be disruptive and detrimental to an organization.
Manning up an organization: Keeping an admin/tech ratio of 2 to 1, meaning you would have only one third of the personnel delivering billable service. Do the math. What service organization can survive with this over-administration without the use of slave labor?
Management by statistics: Weekly statistics. Several statistics for each post. Managed from top-down. I have seen this creating frantic and neurotic organization with little long-term vision.
The organizing board: Hierarchical, over-administered with people stuck in boxes of responsibility and where very few are able to fulfill the implicit responsibilities of the vertical they are in charge of.
The three-basket system: Out-dated. Somebody invented the computer.
The handling of opposition: The LRH management principle here is to “always attack, never defend“, to handle any attack by discrediting the source, to dig up or invent something bad to shut up the opposition. Seriously.
These are but a few examples of non-workability within LRH admin tech. And while I have had excellent success using the Administrative Scale, having helped more than a dozen organizations and more than 250 people personally with this tool, I can also here see an even better and more workable way.
As WISE promotes; thousands of members have for more than 25 years been busy disseminating and implementing LRH admin tech. Given that this is “the only workable administrative technology”, surely there must be some stellar examples of its implementation. Right there at the top of Wall Street. Or the UN. Or the humanitarian organizations. Or… somewhere? Even the Church of Scientology is not a good example of its implementation – anything can work when you build an organization using what would normally pass for slave labor.
Are there any factual examples where LRH administrative technology has proven beyond doubt to be more successful than other management systems?
And so I return to the title of this blog post: Please help me find actual proven valuable parts of the management framework created by L. Ron Hubbard.
I am not about to go to any extreme here. I am an advocate for taking what works and using it where it proves valuable. I am simply struggling to list many factual workable parts of LRH admin tech, and not just small bits like “the concept of the ideal scene” or “bits and pieces in the marketing series”. I am looking for whole parts that have proven to be uniformly successful.
67 thoughts on “WANTED! Value in LRH admin tech”
not sure if this helps, but I read this book:
The Whiz Kids: The Founding Fathers of American Business – and the Legacy they Left Us
it’s about 10 guys that were Army Air Force statistical experts that went to work for Ford after WWII and they implemented an org board and command channels etc within ford. It was pretty interesting to read. After I read the book, I realized that, the org board etc came from LRH’s military experience.
Yes, probably. And I know that the military ways are not useful in all walks of life 🙂
yeah, i agree, the military ways are useful for the military, combat etc. but in a civil society, I believe compassion and caring are needed and not cold, ruthless people that wear a uniform and believe that lrh is god lol. i guess it’s their justification for being jerks.
I operated as a Programs Chief during the 70s from Apollo. I was supposed to be managing all the South East Scientology Organizations. I had no actual experience. But I was expected to get the stats up through Data Series evaluations. To tell you frankly, as I look back now, the management consisted basically of heavy stat push. A lot of reliance was put on the compliance system put in place. In short, a lot of force was used along with a lot of micromanagement. To me this went against the basic Scientology principles of using ARC and understanding instead of force. I remember LRH saying in Scn 8-8008 that use of force is like playing in the hands of the MEST universe, yet here we were expected to use force ruthlessly.
Overall workability and being the ONLY workable administrative technology in the world? No way. That’s an absolute, right? There must be better ones as I don’t see, like you state above, that even the Church of Scientology is a good example of the Admin Tech applied.
There are some definite gems though. One of which is the true definition of a product. This I find so many people do not understand and knowing what an actual exchangeable product really is has always helped me excel above others in business and many other endeavors, actually. Since I have never studied other management systems in depth, I do not know if they cover this as well or not. It’s a simple but rather powerful tidbit.
Now, back to the overall workability. A stellar and universally workable system must be able to be implemented with relative ease. Though there may be challenges, it shouldn’t be miserably difficult.
I was a member of WISE and a member of our Business Expansion Club and for awhile, a Charter Committee member. One of my responsibilties, as well as the responsibility of others, was to help local businesses become Model of Admin Know-How award winners. This, supposedly, was the goal of WISE. I say supposedly because I believe the goal was initially to get people on the Bridge, via WISE as an entrance point and towards the end of my stay in the Church it became simply another registration outlet for the sale of Basics and fund raising for library donations.
Anyhow, it was SO DIFFICULT to get people to get through the requirements necessary to win that award. The requirements were not that difficult but for many businesses the requirements may have been viewed as superfluous and not those things that were going to make those businesses boom. I’m not sure. I just know how difficult it was to get anybody through.
I believe there are key elements or ideas (that surely exist in other systems) that are very valuable, like things being put in writing, understanding and keeping dev-t to a minimum, etc. but I think as an overall system, many things are outdated which makes it unwieldy since Scientology doesn’t change with the times as that is considered squirreling. I remember people having to ask special permission to win the award because they didn’t have a 3 basket system but operated by computer. That kind of thing. I mean, that should be part of the system now, not something you have to “CSW” to get around.
The fact, that WISE is in Division 6 of the regular scientology org board shows, that its key reason of existence is being a dissemination activity, applying positioning to appeal to the business world. — The first WISE packs were created by Bob Ramer of Ramer & Associates. — There never as a uniform “major success” of WISE companies from what I saw. They come and they go, depending on the individual brilliant ideas of their founders and how they manage the real world.
The only problem I as an employee observed, was, that failings were never, ever attributed to ElRon’s writing or ideas. You could even end up in an org’s ethics office if you voiced doubt about the applicability of green on white in the “real world”. Thanks to the knowledge report of the boss, who suspected you to be PTS or out-ethics or both.
I was part of launching a startup company in the 1990s with some other Scientologists that we eventually took public (i.e. got listed on the stock market) and today the company is a billion+ dollar company. We loosely used LRH Admin tech to get things organized early on, but other than that, we just used LRH policy and admin ideas on an as-needed basis as a sort of tool kit. As the company grew, we just let the employees use whatever management or admin ideas/tools that worked for them, while keeping them focused on their product (VFP) — they were free to achieve it however they chose. We didn’t try to enforce any sort of management system, other than keeping the high-level org board in place, and just kept track of stats informally without enforcing “conditions” etc. We chose not to become a member of WISE because we didn’t want to be forced into some kind of structure, and frankly, didn’t want to have to pay for it.
From a broad look, I would say that LRH Admin tech works best when approached as a general “tool kit” and solely at the user’s discretion. I don’t think enforcing the use of it works that well, because it tends to take away a person’s initiative and/or freedom to solve problems creatively.
I’ve found that simply putting a thetan over an area and giving them a VFP (the valuable final product … what they and their area are trying to achieve) is the most workable principle in LRH admin. Let the thetan figure out the structure (i.e. the org board on their own, and just be there as a manager to let them bounce ideas off of or help them figure out tough situations). Imho, people work best when given a goal and freedom to take the initiative to achieve it.
I did find with some Scientologists (especially former staff and SO) who were put over an area, that they tried too hard to “follow policy”, and ended up with an Org board for their own area that just had layers and layers of unnecessary “managers” and/or non-cross trained people, which of course was cumbersome and unwieldy in day-to-day operations. Those that did best were the ones who focused on achieving their product, and were given the necessary support and resources to achieve it.
With all that said, I’m not an OEC/FEBC grad nor have I spent a lot of time studying policy or admin. I was on staff for 2.5 yrs in the 80s (and did a couple of admin full hats) and through that got a flavor of how things run in a typical Scn Org.
IMHO, the extreme focus on stats, heavy-handed ethics and ignoring good/common sense in order to “apply LRH policy”, are the Church’s weakest areas and are the reasons why the Church has never truly expanded.
p.s. I agree with you Geir, on the six unworkable points that you list above among several others.
I should also say, the Church of the 70s … as run down, informal and “disorganized” as it might have been, was far more genuinely focused on helping people achieve spiritual enlightenment and improved conditions in their lives. At least that was my perception of it. As of the 80s and 90s, the focus really turned to money, “celebrity” and “status” (along with far too much force-fed anti-psychiatry propaganda).
I think Marty is on to something when he points out the detriment of the “multiple International events” each year. These have really become propaganda fests that simply did not exist in the 70s and early 80s. And they’ve also created a “group think” in the Scientology field, that imho did not exist to that degree in the earlier decades. (Maybe they existed in the S.O., but it sure didn’t show up to the same degree in the Scientology public or even Mission or Org staff.)
Hey! I read your analysis with interest, and frankly.. can’t find much to disagree with! I’m willing to bet that were LRH alive and you had this conversation… it would not surprise me if he agreed with you! He was not a fool… he gave orders where he saw orders needed…but he said, “…where responsibility has failed, orders must be given…” I worked personally for Ron on the Apollo.. When I wrote ideas up.. he issued them as Flag Orders! He didn’t have the huge ego that needed all the credit!
Right, any field need to be continually developed in order to stay alive and accommodate for new knowledge.
Sorry, I can’t answer your question ! The only of long duration successful oprganisations I’ve seen in Scientology were the Scientology franchises back in the seventies and eighties until they were utterly destroyed in 1982 by Miscavige and his conhorts.
They always had a different public than the Orgs. They had Academics, Business people and successful people on lines, their staff was very well qualified and trained. They were swimming in money and everybody was moving up the bridge. they were huge and some bigger than orgs.
The main reason that orgs are today so crazy is that HCO doesn’t stop to recruit new people, as they are working on a weekly stat, and they don’t care about any qualifications which is contrary to policies of LRH that ask for qualified people.
Imagine a business employing new people every week, without caring about their quals and giving those people a job to do. The customers will be running away very fast and you go broke in some weeks.
I could tell you stories for 10 books what funny things the recruits thought out to do on their assigned posts.
If you would make a thread alone for that, you propably will have thousands of posts until all those stories are told.
My dream is that Scientology will go totally open source. And at the end Universities will go through the whole work of LRH and sort it out !
The book “How to live though an Executive” is the best Technology about Management, but the C.O.S isn’t selling it anymore.
Also the dream of Lrh was that all SO Member are lass viii, Febc trained and OTs. We had lots of execs that were also auditor trained, they were always full of Arc and wer had high stats, we had execs that weren’t auditor trained and most of them were just very rude people working with force alone (and mostly no high IQ).
At LRH’s time it was mandatory that any FEBC trainee gets all 3 Ls (were developped to get good executives) and this idea was never incorporated, so you got people that were Febc trained but case-wise not setup to be such an executive as asked for by the training. What was their solution “Status”, “I’m FEBC trained you dare not follow not my orders !”
The subject needs lots of study and differentiation. I don’t want to do that work. My solution is the same as already said, take what works , skip the rest !
I found a book by Elbert Hubbard on Gutenberg.com, which was written in 1906. I was looking for it because LRH originally dedicated DMSMH to him. In it I found very succintly stated organisation policy including the genus of ‘Responsibilities of leaders – Tone Scale – PTS/SP and the exact wording of Performia, The Cart ie
The world bestows its big prizes, both in money and honors, for but one thing. And that is Initiative. What is Initiative? I’ll tell you: It is doing the right thing without being told. But next to doing the right thing without being told is to do it when you are told once. That is to say, carry the Message to Garcia! There are those who never do a thing until they are told twice: such get no honors and small pay. Next, there are those who do the right thing only when necessity kicks them from behind, and these get indifference instead of honors, and a pittance for pay. This kind spends most of its time polishing a bench with a hard-luck story. Then, still lower down in the scale than this, we find the fellow who will not do the right thing even when some one goes along to show him how, and stays to see that he does it; he is always out of a job, and receives the contempt he deserves, unless he has a rich Pa, in which case Destiny awaits near by with a stuffed club. To which class do you belong?
I do not know much abnout running an organisation, having been a techie but this was amazing to find.
Here’s some thoughts I have had on all this. I could be way off, but I have been in a position along the way to see inside some of the bigger companies. They might or might not be a source of valid information across the boards, but the info might serve to provide some additional perspective.
I really doubt that you will find ANY examples of the admin tech / policy in use in original form in any profit making company.
Most of the policies of the Church are based squarely on the assumption that one is delivering services that are not seasonal, are not physical products that must be manufactured, and most importantly – no competitors offering similar or better products. Another assumption is that there are no owner(s) or stakeholder(s) and no profits to distribute or pay out. A final assumption is that there will be no operating capital (stock offerings) or debt capital to work with. Large companies make the jump from privately owned and capitalized to publicly traded, with enormous capital funding.
That being said, many of the principles are in successful use in large and successful companies:
– The concept of having quality control, or a qual division is widespread in successful companies. Most now have Quality Control divisions or functions as it is now seen as critical to success.
– Statistics are in heavy use, and are tightly focused on product or service sales statistics, taken against demographics. These are jockeyed against marketing campaigns, which again are monitored in terms of statistics. The demand for information (data mining) in large, successful companies is huge. They have married computerized sales systems to statistical analysis to tightly focus on maximizing product sales. This is critical to their success, for speed to market and speed in response to changing market conditions means the difference between increased and decreased market share.
-Successful companies also work to accumulate “identities” and service them well, this results in repeat purchases with a much higher profit ratio. i.e. the front end expense of acquiring a new customer is understood to be very high, so keeping that customer becomes paramount.
– Entire sections of the PR policies are in heavy use by large, successful companies as they seek to create brand awareness, positioning and public opinion about their company. They seldom use black PR techniques, but industrial espionage is very much alive and well.
– Companies using the Internet successfully use statistics to a degree that is astounding. Every product is tracked, email lists are used, and traffic and sales monitored to the nth degree.
– They use the group sanity scale and admin scales to a high degree, including strategic planning, mission statements, tactical, and so on. They rely on technical schools and educational facilities to do the core training of their employees where needed and then they do apprentice their people under experienced personnel.
– They use “work groups” to carry out day to day operations. These are generally small groups (no more than 6-8 people) that meet and plan operations. This is a variation of Danger Conditions – Why Organizations Stay Small.
– They do maintain statistics on their personnel, these are expressed as “workloads” and “quotas.” In many of these companies these are not only monitored weekly, they are monitored daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually. The corporate environment has become extremely ruthless about running lean departments that are cost-effective and productive. That’s what down-sizing is all about.
No company I have ever worked for uses fast flow hiring. As you say, it is disruptive to the extreme. Even in the C of S, the fast flow system could only ever work with a fully established Qual division with staff training and apprenticing in full use. AOLA had this in the early 80s under Ivan and they truly flourished and prospered back then. However, they do use probationary periods on their staff hiring lines.
The admin/tech ratio is intended for use only in the C of S. It cannot possibly be used as-is in another type of entity. Even in the C of S there are NO Class 4 organizations that have enough technical personnel to even test whether this is valid. There is a worldwide shortage of technically trained personnel and qual personnel. There has been for a long, long time. Go into any Class 4 org and count the number of actual technical personnel producing on post, then count the admin staff and you’ll see what I mean.
As far as this lunacy of saying that the admin tech is the only workable admin tech, the principles do hold true. But only the principles. But these are found mainly in the Management Series, whereas the OEC is policy PECULIAR to the C of S.
The Scientologists I have met who push that line are so unfamiliar with any other working environment that they have NO idea what goes on inside these big companies. Not a clue. So they make exceedingly stupid statements and make claims that are just plain ridiculous. They are utterly naive to think that these companies will credit LRH, WISE, or any other entity – no, its more likely to be a closely guarded secret.
But I can tell you that if you give the Managment Series volumes to executives working in these companies, they will immediately grab every principle that makes sense and aligns what they are trying to do more successfully and put it into immediate use. They won’t give credit to anyone, let alone LRH, for doing it. It will be a feather in their own cap and be damned if they will offer it to others as-is. Gives them quite an edge because it can and does help them focus in on working principles. I’ve seen this up close and personal when I loaned these books to a key executive to take a look at. He set about to analyze the shit out of everything as fast as he could go. He did not foolishly attempt to implement as-is, he simply took what worked and integrated it into what was already there.
I believe that this has happened a lot already, because the materials of the admin tech have been around for a long time now and anyone could go and buy the volumes, put them into use and who would know?
Good observation on the assumptions in the admin tech.
Fascinating. Thank you for this very thorough explanation. I got a lot out of this comment.
Yes, Maria is Maria.
Thank you Maria, you’re so wise
Agree with you on the Management Series, Maria. These are really where the basic principles shine and aren’t so focused on organization for the Church only.
I think execs/managers at large companies would eat these up, if they were simply presented as possibly useful ideas to help organize and/or succeed.
To paraphrase Homer Simpson:
“Is there anything Maria can’t do?”
The basic problem that I see is inflexibility that comes from being stuck with “source.”
Being stuck with “source” translates as being stuck with ego, whether it is LRH’s, or it is the ego of the person who is identifying himself or herself with LRH.
Knowledge by itself is very flexible. It is the introduction of the ego that makes it full of fixed ideas and inflexible.
There is no absolute knowledge out there. Christianity tried to be one and it has been failing for a long time. Islam is trying to be one and creating a mess out of it. Scientology is the new kid on the block and it is already destined to be a memory the way it is going.
I think basically there should be a Scientology 2.0 presented somewhere where some kind of Board (like 20 people or similair) goes through all the auditing procedures etc and come up with what works and what doesn’t and perhaps how to make improvements. Having one man (DM) making all the decisions is not good.
Keeping an admin/tech ratio of 2 to 1? Is there actually a PL or similair that says so? Sounds like an awful lot (without having done any research on the subject).
Yes, the admin/tech ratio of 2:1 is real (See Org Program #1 and other places). Even in the church, this ratio will starve the staff.
There are a couple of policies that cover the tech-admin ratio. I don’t have the reference to hand, but as I recall, as the organization grows the tech / admin ratio adjusts towards 1 to 1. But we’re talking about in a HUGE organization with hundreds of staff. I think that the idea behind the tech/admin ratio was to ensure that the organization didn’t just hire admin staff and did put focus on ensuring that the technical divisions were manned, trained and competent.
It’s 2 to 1 to make sure that the public divisions and the technical divisions got manned properly. Didn’t happen. Very heavy staff turnover in these two areas as they both take tremendous skill and in the case of technical division, a lot of training. It has been a worldwide disaster to ignore that ratio.
The early Missions did function more or less on that ratio, although at the Mission I was at, the ratio was pretty close to 1 to 1. They had a lot of fully trained technical personnel when I first started. Almost as many as admin personnel.
The Class 4 org on the other hand had 4 trained technical personnel, and the rest of the thirty staff were admin staff. They had technical personnel in training at all times but they never seemed to be able to successfully complete them. You see, they got sent to Flag to train. And they never came back to the org.
A service organization should have an admin/tech ratio of at most 1:2, preferably 1:4 or even less. It’s easy math.
Yes I agree with that. I was an auditor in a class 5 org for many years and I always held the view that if they just made some of the admin staff into auditors we would have no problems. But, I got “oh no, the policy says this and that” Staff pay was looowwww! Many of the staff worked as cleaners at night and were so tired the next day they could hardly function. I say to hell with following policy. Let’s do “actually” works! ~lol
Yes, I remember 1:1 from one of the SS I or SS II courses as well.
There is 2:1 and I dug more and yes, 1:1. Now try running a service organization with an admin overhead of 1:1 against billable staff. It’s a recipe for disaster.
In my expeirence, many professional services firms (where the ‘tech’ is delivered by accountants, lawyers, advertising specialists, etc.) are often close to 1:1.
Also, some of the best knowledge management companies I know have more admin staff than tech staff — if you sum up all admin, sales, and quality control people into ‘admin’.
Of course, employee ratios don’t tell the whole story. The compensation of all these folks varies greatly, depending on how much value the organization determines is each person / role adds to the product(s). Some people are paid many multiples what other people are paid.
I have run service companies for more than 17 years. A ratio as bad as 1:1 was… well, bad.
Geir, I’m sure your perception that 1:1 is “bad” is a legitimate one. So perhaps the difference between your experience and mine means we’re not talking about the same thing? Maybe “services” (your definition) isn’t the same thing as “professional services” (my definition)
My observations of “professional services” delivery is in orgs where someone delivering high value (defined by their billing rate) is supported by one or more much-lower-compensated “non-professionals,” e.g., secretary, receptionist, clerk, etc.
Sorry, didn’t intend to muck up the flow.
Look at Accenture, or even a lawyers firm…
I believe there may be subtle semantic differences here. Admin vs production. You are correct in an apparency of 1:1 or even 2:1 in something like a lawyers office or accountants where a high producer may have a para legal, legal secretary and researcher, etc. Most, if not all these assistants are not in fact admin as much, if not all of their time is billed as an attorney, or legal research or what have you. I have several attorney friends who, as single practicioners, or partners in large firms bill 1-200 hours a week, of which they obviously did not personally produce. Even though it appears admin, they are really production, and not just “facility differentials”.
In the real business world pure admin support staff are considered burden.
Also Hubbards admin tech was prior to and did not take into account modern enterprise software and computer systems (INCOMM advices started to, but required much more R&D and development as technical capability exploded). I wouldn’t be surprised if a good enterprise system couldn’t reduce admin staff in orgs by 80%.
I run a services company (assisted living for the elderly) with 15 full-time employees. We have about 4 full-time tech (caregivers) for every 1 full-time admin (management and office personnel).
The company would simply not make much money if we added more admin. And frankly, more admin are not needed in my company’s case.
The industry average for assisted living for elderly facilities (such as mine) is about 3 tech to 1 admin.
I wouldn’t even attempt to apply the admin / tech ratio to another type of organization! I’d work it out by adjusting workloads and quotas to maximum efficiency in terms of billable hours, best possible customer service, and maximum net profit on an on-going basis.
In a Church I would work out how many staff it would take to support keeping a full-time auditor busy and back and forth against how many full time auditors would be needed to be kept busy to cover operating and expansion expenses. That includes the cost of putting in a C/S and cramming line and with expansion, a review/repair line. I would not use the proportionate pay system. I think it produces lazy executives because they can just force the number of staff up without impacting the bottom line.
I would instead implement a minimum hourly pay system with monthly and quarterly proportional pay bonuses based on on a portion of NET income. I’d adjust the base hourly rate based on auditor class, staff position and length of time on staff. I would make it possible for the staff and executives to participate in determining how best to adjust the base pay and bonuses. I would work the course fees and auditing fees back and forth against that.
I would implement group medical and dental programs and I would also offer participation in staff retirement plans.
I would insist on a minimum period of time to complete core staff training. I would put all staff on co-auditing on a regular basis, earned as an additional bonus, probably based on time served and matching the bonus pay in some way. i.e. they have already earned their co-audit by the time they start it, so there is no freeloading and no freeloader bills should they leave staff. I would also offer staff discounts on auditor training and professional auditing. I would not offer these on a full promissory note.
As far as statistics go, I would have the staff and executives monitor them continually to find overloads, detect problem areas, and yes, detect staff members who are continually incompetent or downright destructive. But I would not just rely on statistics to find incompetent or destructive staff members, nor would I excuse detrimental staff actions based solely on their own statistics. I would look at statistics adjacent to their area and the impact of their actions on the statistics of the entire group as well — positive or negative. I would not take their earned bonuses away from them, but I would also not hesitate to offload them based on substantiated evidence of non-production and/or clearly detrimental actions.
I would set up Division 6 as a separate entity for public outreach and fund it with its own income and public donations. Oddly, this is what the IAS is supposed to be, but unfortunately there is no transparency with the IAS nor is there any method to monitor what they are doing with the funds they earn.
And even though it is not required by a Church, I would produce an annual report to the public members.
But these are all just my ideas and the acid test would be in implementing the ideas in the real world. I have worked in enough businesses to understand that this isn’t a particularly easy thing to do, even for brilliant and seasoned managers. But computerized accounting makes it a lot easier to do these days because you can rapidly calculate your bottom line on a continual basis. Computers also makes tracking statistics a lot easier, especially if you computerize all your member activity and communications. Email really cuts down the high cost of publications and public outreach.
But that would be for a Church. I would have to really think it through for any other kind of entity as you want to attract top-notch people and there is competition from other businesses for those people.
I’m really looking forward to reading about your new concept Geir, as I am sure that you probably address many of the issues that I have mentioned here.
p.s. thanks everyone for the positive feedback about my posts. Back to all of you, as I love reading everyone’s viewpoints and data. Good stuff!
I really like the way you think Maria! Would have been great to have a rational being like you in the org 🙂
You’re asking (if I understand it correctly): Which parts of LRH admin tech are superior to those of other management systems?
It seems to me your question could be easily confused with this one: Which management system works best for all organizations?
I’d like to comment on this second question.
It seems to me that entities should and do organize and manage themselves differently, depending on their desired outputs and outcomes. For example, each of these entities – a manufacturing facility, a collective of artists, a soup kitchen, a public school system, a university, a law firm, a dentist’s office, a hospital, the Federal Highway Administration, a public corporation, a real estate development company – has considerably different intended consequences (goals and desired impacts), as well as unintended consequences, from the others’.
Their resources – raw materials, labor, labor training, and other resources – vary dramatically.
The relative importances of quality, cost and speed of delivery of the entities’ products and outputs also varies dramatically – among types of entities, as well as among the subdivisions of each of these entities.
Likewise, the customers/clients, owners, decision-makers and other stakeholders in each of these types of entities vary greatly.
Likewise, their organizational complexity, distance from their customers/clients, autonomy (lack of regulation) under which they may operate, etc. vary greatly.
Therefore, it would seem to me that the management system that would work well for a General Motors plant in Mexico wouldn’t resemble even remotely what would work best at a Swiss nunnery or at Harvard University.
I guess what I’m saying is that I think “evaluating whether aspects of LRH admin tech are superior to all other admin tech” sounds like an impossible-to-answer research topic.
BTW, since I’m neither an LRH admin tech expert nor very knowledgeable about WISE and its activities, did LRH claim his admin tech was to be used liberally outside the Co$? Or was that a claim made by others who sought to expand its use outside the Church?
Your points will be clearly validated in an organizing system I am about to release an article on – called LiQUiD (Light, Quick, Ultra-Dynamic).
As for LRH’s claim about the admin tech being exported to other business, I have seen a reference on that. I will let others with better memory pitch in.
Thank you. I look forward to the debut of your new ‘LiQUiD’ model.
I’ll be especially interested to learn how your new model anticipates and accommodates ‘unintended consequences’ arising from interactions among an entity’s own choices about organizational and management models, its competitors’ choices, and their industry’s maturity and degree of rivalry.
There used to be an introduction in the OEC volumes. Don’t know if it is still there. It said something along the lines of don’t re-write it and give to others to use, instead let them read the materials first hand and extrapolate from that. I don’t remember anything about OEC being uniformly successful in other endeavors, just the core principles offered primarily in the Management series.
Looking forward to that.
Geir, you wrote: “I am looking for whole parts [of LRH Admin Tech] that have proven to be uniformly successful. Anyone? ”
Personally, I think there is much, much more in LRH Admin Tech that is workable, compared to what is not workable. And that’s because so much of it is just plain old common sense (or at least “common sense” to a Scientologist).
I think that when the use of LRH Admin Tech turns into an authoritarian system (as has been done in the last 30+ years in the CoS and to a lesser degree through WISE), and used under duress or pressure or without good judgement, it immediately stops being workable.
Which I guess is true of any practical philosophy or subject.
Geir, thank you for writing this!
I had over 45 years of corporate experience and was a Mission Holder for 10 years so I welcomed the chance to incorporate LRH management tech into whatever activity I was involved in.
My reluctant conclusion after years of trying to use Ron’ Org Board and direct experience with several WISE organizations was that it did not work as advertised. Much of it seemed to be a rehash of what Ron remembered from his military service.
There are some useful nuggets like Marketing Series 3, before it got revised and complicated, the Admin Scale, Conditions of Exchange, etc., but none of these were created by LRH as far as I know, only adapted from other sources.
The biggest outpoint was that application of his Admin Tech created top heavy organizations with very little production capability and that is a fatal shortcoming in a competitive environment. Such an organization relies on volunteer or slave labor to keep going as it is a non viable entity otherwise. Anyone with any business experience would see this when exposed to the green volumes unless their indoctrination as Scientologists rendered their critical faculties useless.
I was a well indoctrinated Scientologist for 35 years and only began to see the gaping flaws in the church operational structure when I started writing my blog in November 2009.
My suggestion for salvaging any useful bits of Admin Tech is to discard all but the Management Series and assess what is written there against one’s own experience with real life management practices that produce stable and reproducible results.
David St Lawrence
Absolutely. Great summary. I totally agree with what you are saying. And they are adaptations or perhaps a better word, summaries of key marketing/management concepts. LRH makes no bones about that. I don’t know if it is still included in the PR series, but he did include a reference to the original PR manual that he distilled the PR series from. You could even buy a version of the manual with red highlighted text at one point.
Same with the marketing series. I spoke one time to an old-timer who had worked with LRH and she told me that LRH recommended she read David Olgilvy’s Confessions of an Advertising Man.
p.s. Geir. I am so HAPPY that you have a new blog! I sincerely hope we don’t work you half to death with our comments but you know, I really missed your other blog!
🙂 I’m glad we are back in direct comm like this.
Perhaps you will agree with the concept “form follows function”.
WISE was created under Hubbard’s direction to stop businesses stealing the best staff from orgs. It was initially designed to keep Scn owned and run businesses under control. You can’t beat the hours and work ethic of a staff member who will accept modest wages as a recruiting pool.
This later evolved, after Hubbard’s death and under Mismanages rein to a revenue generating, fees of 5-10 percent of GROSS were demanded and sometimes extorted off any company using publically, or not, “Hubbard’s Admin Tech”. There were calculations made in ASI of how much money they could collect for “royalties” with 10% of any scn company gross.
For the past 25 years, it has also turned out that WISE is the only viable dissemination line for Scientology, responsible directly and indirectly for approximately 85% of new successful (have big bucks) public, and revenue. Indirectly is through Doctors, for example, bringing in their families, staff, friends, associates, etc.
The most successful of all of these was Sterling management, which, in 1990 was generating (I believe) something like $50-100 million a year and was responsible for almost half the new money brought into the church. Following the time magazine article of 1991:
Sterling sales plummeted something like 90%, surviving only because one of the founding partners died leaving a multi million dollar life insurance policy.
It is worth reading this Time article and comparing statements and claims to current circumstances.
As public, we tended to believe that the Church sued Time and won, so this article was false. If you research the actual cases, the church lost every count, appealed and appealed, spending many tens of millions of dollars on this litigation, costing Time something near ten million to defend, busting their insurance coverage limits and resulting in Time’s insurance coverage being revoked and great difficulty in renewing. Why do you think parent Time has been so silent for so long.
Is Scientology spending perhaps 30-50 million dollars against a cost of perhaps 10 an example of superior administrative application?
If Scientology technologies product such super human business and creative and individual members, why is there not one single scientology owned company building any of the ideal orgs, every org is being designed and built by non scientology (“wog”) companies who obviously must be more efficient and productive than Scientology ones.
Minimally you would think the hundreds of millions of dollars being crush regged from public for construction, could be partially recovered in church coffers from the profits generated by Scientology businesses. Every other church would use their own parishioners; Mormons, Christians, Muslims, etc. This indicates current management considers scientology companies pretty incompetent.
It is worth re
If indeed there are no Scn contractors working on the projects (although I have heard of at least one that is working on these projects) I can speculate on a few reasons: a) Some Scn contractors were burned in the past by these projects and don’t want to work on them and b) it is more likely the demand is that they work for free and contribute to the Ideal Orgs by working for free and since they can’t work for free all the time and on the demanding schedules of Ideal Orgs they don’t work at all and c) Non-Scn contractors can be sued without violating the justice codes and they don’t talk to other Scns about the problems they have with the C of S on construction projects.
In his SuperScio book (http://www.freezoneearth.org/pub/Super%20Scio.pdf ) (Note: the book may contain upper level data) Ken Ogger wrote a beautifull essay on “How I Would Fix the Orgs” He wrote what follows about the Org Board:
The Org Board
The org board is rumored to have come from Ron’s recollection of an ancient galactic civilization. If so, then I would point out that that civilization is now dust.
Any organization pattern worked out in detail and carried through into practice would be useful to an organization, and the Scientology org board has its good points and is certainly no worse than most of the management structures used in this society. But its far from perfect.
The older 7 division pattern was expanded out into 9 divisions based on Ron’s coming up with the Mind/Body/Product theory that divides the organization structure in progressions of three (3 executive divisions each divided into 3 regular divisions which are each divided up into 3 departments etc.).
The theory itself is actually quite reasonable, but the application of that theory to devising the pattern of the org was flawed.
When you see a successful team of 3 partners launching a business, one of them will inevitably be an expert in producing the product of the business. The other two may consist of an expert at organization and an expert at sales and marketing. And if its only a team of 2, then one is an expert at producing and the other is the salesman and promoter and they will somehow or other manage the organizational hat between them.
It never really works if you’re missing the technical person who can really produce the product.
If its a software company, one of the top 3 has to be a software guru or you’re dead.
And if its cars you’re building, then one of the 3 had better be an automotive engineer.
If you’ve got a hospital and one of the 3 top execs isn’t a doctor, then you’d just better forget it.
Established companies often violate this rule, and they lose their ability to deliver the product and they sink.
If you only have the organizational executive, then there is nothing to sell and nobody to sell it and therefore it is the least important of the three.
If you only have the salesman, then its all promotion and no delivery and you end up with what’s known as a get rich scheme or a con game.
If you only have the technical hotshot who can produce, you end up with these obscure but well respected little firms that gradually develop a small following but achieve little market penetration. Even so, this is the only one of the three that has any chance at all of surviving alone and therefore is the most critical to the entire venture.
For a Scientology org, one of the 3 senior executives must be a super expert on the tech and his executive division must be devoted to the technical aspects of the subject.
When Ron did his division by 3s, he created a set of 3 public divisions in one executive division and also had a dissemination division (more sales) in another. So the structure was heavy with PR. And to make room for this, he bundled up a treasury division along with the technical and Qual (QA) divisions to form an executive division whose manager would be just as concerned with money as with real delivery. So his pattern is weak on actual production and he regulates the technical hotshots to a lower rung in the management hierarchy.
Its not surprising that we see so much promotion and so few results with such an org board.
A better pattern would be as follows:
1st Executive Division: Organizational (this is what the org calls the HCO exec div.)
1.1 External affairs (the president’s office, planning, legal, etc.)
1.2 Internal Management (this is the org’s HCO division) (personnel, communications, ethics)
1.3 Treasury (income, disbursements, supplies) (in Ron’s pattern, he has this in the 2nd exec below and places the dissemination division here instead)
2nd Executive division: Production / Technical
2.1 Auditor Training (this is only a department in Ron’s pattern) (for software, this would be the analysts and designers, for building houses this would be the architects, etc.)
2.2 Processing (Auditing) (this and 2.1 above are both just departments in Ron’s single technical division) (in other businesses, this is the appropriate main line production)
2.3 Qual (QA)
3rd Executive Division: Sales and Marketing
3.1 Sales (Dissemination)
3.2 Marketing (the public divisions) (this spreads across 3 divisions in Ron’s plan)
3.3 Publications (Ron has this as a department in the Dissem division. But this is a critical area. It is a key element in the spread of a subject).
As a further justification for giving publications its own separate division, one of the key reasons behind IBM’s success was its exceptionally large publications division. They are one of the largest publishers in the world. They combined this with a fantastically strong sales force and swept the market in the early days of computers.
At a minimum, this pattern at least assures that one of the key people at the top really knows the score on the business that the organization is in.
“At a minimum, this pattern at least assures that one of the key people at the top really knows the score on the business that the organization is in.”
Yes, that makes sense and it fits with what I observed of the successful Mission I attended early on. All of the key people at the top were seasoned auditors, the Mission Holder was highly trained too. And all of the staff were auditors even if just HQS auditors.
I was once working for a business run by wise scientologists (not Wise!) who asked me to draw up an org board for them. Each attempt I made came up with something that looked wrong or didn’t make sense. The non-scn staff used to laugh at it and call it “another one of those silly scientology things”. It took me almost 2 years to eventually finish the org board. During that time I discovered what was wrong… I had to UN-LEARN what I had learnt. My flaw was that I had been on org staff and seen their org boards. The big mistake is to try and adapt an org’s org board to another activity. You have to strip that from your mind totally. As soon as I stripped it, the barriers disappeared. I used the reference from the Admin Dictionary under “organizing” and developed the org board from scratch. The final org board looked nothing like an org’s, yet it was totally workable – and did not violate any LRH policy! Yet WISE would never have allowed it.
I put the final org board up on the wall. During the next week it amused me to see sceptical non-scn staff going up to the org board and instructing each other on what their duties were! Completely on their own determinism!
So, I now know how to make a workable org board for anyone. The LRH org board system DOES work, and LRH does tell you how to make one. But you are a fool if you think an org’s org board will work outside. In some businesses, sales is the key activity and is in Division 4, not 2. Qual is also a very different function per each activity. Advertising can also be at various points, not a fixed one.
My conclusion is that you cannot make an org board by copying another one – you have to build it from scratch by looking at the business itself, not another business.
And perhaps that is the way all of LRH’s admin tech should be approached.
Sorry to be so late, but per Wikipedia the Diskeeper company is a member of WISE. Jeff Hawkins mentions it as one of the biggest donors to the current DM regime. But I have no idea how big this company really is.
It’s not significant in the market -it’s a player, not that big. It has been in legal trouble due to discrimination based on religion.
Thank you for this enlightening article.
You articulated what I have been trying to formulate for years.
It blew a big chunk of uninspected false data for me.
I published some excerpts on http://possiblyhelpfuladvice.com with links to the articles referenced.
Cool additions you posted as well. 🙂
I read most of the comments and all seem fairly well written. My experience with the Hubbard Admin Tech has been a two sided issue, one where I saw it being applied or at least were trying to apply it but they fell short on many areas.
For example: The same staff from Div-2 were also handling Div-6 and using the same type of marketing materials, as we know that can’t be because Div-2 are already customers and Div-6 are new public so you cannot market to them like you market to Div-2 public.
I was new to the Admin Tech back then but non-the-less I saw this and didn’t make sense to me, I mentioned it to one of the Execs and he told me that I was right, he said that some people in the org did not yet understood that point and that’s’ why we were not reaching the intended public. I am sure they had MUs.
I also noticed that they placed a great deal of importance on stats and I saw several staff members doing out ethics cycles just to bring their stats up even sacrificing the clients to whom services were being sold. My understanding for keeping stats was that you do it because it will help you with the condition of your area, if it goes up is good so you keep doing what is working and if it goes down you change what is not working, it should never be used for writing staff up, it leads to low moral.
On the other hand, I did work for a company that uses the Admin Tech and I saw that they were actually being successfull with it, that made me feel good because I had prove that the Tech actually works when applied properly, which brings me to my next point, and that is that, what I have found is that the biggest problem an org faces is the employees who are not willing to apply the Admin Tech as it is intended to.
I found that due to the fact that employees don’t know what the org board is for, they don’t know how to use it, the org board tells you how a particle moves through the org sequentially, step by step, if you jump around you get lost. If you look at an org board – lets take Div-1 plus its Dpts plus its sections and at the bottom you have VFP that’s your basic Be, Do, Have! Which in essence is your hat as well – Be, Do, Have!
I also found that many staff members lacked proper hatting, and that is becasue they usually don’t have a competent Quals Officer to do the hatting.
I read someone said that the Admin Tech is a tool, you are right but it is more then a tool, it is a box of tools and as such you must know how to use each tool so you can use it successfully! My suggestion is that if you are not going to implement all of the Admin Tech, at least make sure that your staff are wearing their hats properly!
As a parting shot I like to say that, since I studied Business Administration at a traditional college and also studied the Hubbard Admin Tech so I can safely say I know the difference, I must say I learn Bus Admin when I learned the Hubbard Admin Tech and I wish traditional colleges would teach it! By the way I also love the Study Tech and the Course Room Supe Tech.
On this issue I would like to comment,
Its great, that you know Prince 2 and ISO Management tools.
Yet, before you know best about the green volumes and the management series and even 339R you should know one thing, first of all, there are numerous PL’s which cancel out the use of just about any policy there is.
What does this mean?
It needs an intelligent and free man to use the admin policies at his own determinism at his own free will. This, coupled with life force and livingness on a high level and a worthwhile goal, you have most ingredients needed to use LRH policies, intelligent.
In order to make a better prince 2 or whatever Clever Book you want to make, you wouldnt need to change a single word of the green volumes. If you think you need to, you haven’t understood Admin Policy in the first place.
Why am I telling you this, well I have read this part of yours and I was looking for a date, when this was written. Didnt find it. But I found your critique of the Admin volumes. Strange to me.
I sincerely wish you well in you efforts.
Did you read my article “Processes, Automation and Human potential”?
Yes I did. All I wanted to convey ist to have some emphasis on Common Sense.
Be it KAIZEN, Pantha rei, Iso Norm or Prince 2 or for that matter any ERP system on the market today. You cant buy common sense, also not at Scientology.
I fuly agree, that it is long overdue, to hav a good usable Database.
My gripe with software is that it is often used like a trap. One foot in the door and than get the sucker. Sounds very much like the wrong use of Policy, or Scientology Polocy for that matter.
That doesnt mean that policy is wrong or the writer.
Use Common sense, very much like Doc spells it out.
Keep well, DT
Common sense would IMO suggest chucking out some 60% of LRH Admin tech – as the majority of the tech is straight out unusable – like the policies on recruitment, manning up an org, much of the finance policies, the outdated marketing policies, the PR policies on always attack and never defend, the handling of enemies, much of the ethics system regarding crimes/high crimes etc, the payment system, the policies on Dep 2, much of the Esto system, the distribution of responsibilities across the org board, the 7 division org board and a few other bits and pieces here and there. What is left? Not so much.
who is IMO?
IMO = In my opinion.
Oh, thanks didnt know.
Well my mother tung is German and my English is rusty.
On Admin tech,
LRH says, I believe in DMSMH, a cleared canibal stays a canibal.
The same aplies for 3D Tech. An OEC FEBC hattet moron stays a moron.
The missing part is called “Hausverstand” or Common Sense.
The 3D Tech does nothing, it is the use of.
I Agree fully with you on 60%, I would even go for 30 %.
You can keep the 7 Volums and the Managment Series as Encyclopadia and make a real smart Managment tool with the most important PL’s.
On Div 2 and Div 6, well, if there is no div 2 dont put it there, it alwas depends on the product life cycle managment of your business. Its no where written that you cant change that for your purpose. If it is written I would not accept this Policy on the reason of common sense.
Common sense is always senior to anything there is. Scientology managed for too long to blindfold common sense. This includes me.
There is great stuff on your blogs, I follow it. thank you very much.
Yours Duck Tale
Geir, the proof of the Admin tech’s workability rests with LRH himself, a competent administrator.
True in the hands on incompetent, uninformed, unhatted administrators it can become a nightmare.
I hope it’s clear that the hundreds of organisations he created around the world and which still exist despite a non standard and squirrel and suppressive administrator and the many unhatted staff (which become more and more unhatted) is some quite some proof of its workability.
I have personal experience of the org board working when there is ONE Thetan above all. This is MY Theory. The One Thetan theory. When LRH was on lines there was One Thetan overseeing almost daily the whole area. You can’t say this for DM as first of all, he has proven a Suppressive by the saying of so many now. So, there is a Thetan missing over the Admin tech to make it go right.
Anyone can create an organization when he can rely on slave labor to keep the personnel cost to a minimum. Try the mathematics of LRH’s 2:1 Admin;Tech ratio in the outside world and let me know how it pans out.
Geir, I don’t even think that slave labor has anything to do with it. You have your opinions on this. I do too. I implemented the 7 div org board on a project and it worked great. But I was left alone, not with 10 seniors above my head. The Scientology organisations are run on a constant squirrel admin.
And I think the ratio as the organisation gets bigger becomes 1: 1.
I don’t think we have seen lately a real good application of the org board. I want to get scientologists to start applying it in the field, as volunteers. You can increase and speed things up a lot with that. But the bad thing is that people tend to individuate and keep a distance. Hubbard managed to do the opposite and this is not just due to him but the admin tech, too. And he says in the org board and livingness tape that if that becomes big and one thing goes out it becomes a monster. And the first thing that IS out is a Thetan (not a suppressive one) over the whole organisation running it in a sane on Source way.