When I posted a link to my latest blog post (“Why do we struggle“) on a independent Scientology mailing list, one of the readers responded to this paragraph:
“Never mind that there is not one single example where LRH admin tech has made it as good or better than comparable organizational methodologies. But in the minds of those who blindly accepted the data presented, LRH admin tech is still the greatest. Even as Hubbard himself so rightly points out that one should look for the real results, not the PR or the smooth talk or the words, scientologists continue to buy the PR hook, line and sinker.”
… with this:
“ There are two areas where LRH admin tech worked. First The growth of the missions. Their job was to sell intangibles, and high priced intangibles at that. And they succeeded, and expanded. They in fact became more successful than the Orgs.”
This got me thinking… And then I realized that this only validates the thesis that LRH Admin Tech does not work. In fact, the more you use it, the more an organization will fail. At the very top, we find perhaps the most failing of all Scientology organizations, the RTC (Religious Technology Center) headed by David Miscavige. RTC is the most adamant and insistent on the application of every aspect of LRH Admin Tech to the letter. To the dot. Below that, another failing organization, the Scientology Executive Strata. Just read the many descriptions from people who worked there for years and you will see how much of a failure those organizations are and have been.
As we move down the hierarchy, the autism regarding following LRH policies to the last comma and period slowly dwindles, but it isn’t until you get to some rogue mission that you find something resembling normal success rate compared to other areas of society.
And when you look at missions back in the 60’s and 70’s when there was less LRH Admin Tech in existence, then you find some good cowboy successes. Running as they wanted and in the face of pressure from the above. They succeeded despite the LRH Admin Tech and not because of it.
So my answer to my fellow mailing list member read like this:
“Come to think of it, the missions growing in the early days are the perfect example of LRH Admin Tech being a failure. Because it supplies the gradient scale of: The more you use LRH Admin Tech, the more you will fail… All the way from the top (RTC) and the way out to the missions and even further out to the missions back when there was less Admin Tech in existence and even further out to organizations that have no knowledge of the Admin Tech at all. The gradient scale is there.”
As a whole, LRH Admin Tech is a failure. At best it is simply out-dated. But in general I see it creating over-bureaucratic machines turning individual intelligence, responsibility and creativity into robotism. The early Scientology missions managed to retain their integrity and creativity. When the management finally stomped it out, the missions were suffocated.
The person on the mailing list also added this:
“The other area where LRH admin tech worked was in Evaluation. At least it did sometime.”
I have seen no real evidence where LRH evaluation tech as a whole body of knowledge has outwitted other comparable tech or common sense. I would like to hear about cases where it was used and the results were clearly and unquestionably above the norm.
All of this is not to say that there are no merits to LRH admin tech. There are pieces of that technology I have seen work and that I continue to use; Like:
- how to evaluating people in a recruitment process (look for earlier proven results rather than personality)
- “look, don’t listen” (a manager should look for real results rather than only listening to what someone says)
- several issues on courage and purpose that does wonders in raising morale (as can be seen in the church as people go to great lengths to follow orders beyond their own good judgment – so use the issues with care)
- LRH was perhaps the first to conceive the whole organizational board as a process. This is a stroke of genius although I do not agree with it being done that way.
- policies on how to cut down internal “noise” and unproductivity in an organization
- policies on how to evaluate results and statistics (use with care as it is presented somewhat simplistic)
- policies on how to make production flow (parallels the concepts in Lean but should be used with caution in an organization where creativity is important)
- the Admin Scale
- … and more; I recommend reading the LRH books on administration if only for tips on how to handle certain situations, but not for wholesale usage
There is an organization called WISE (World Institute of Scientology Enterprises) who’s mission is to spread the use of LRH Admin Tech in enterprises and in governments and through that recruit scientologists for the church. Again – Use with caution.