Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Texas Ranch House

A couple weeks back, Lori and I somehow got wrapped up in a PBS reality series called Texas Ranch House. The premise is 15 people living in manor of an 1867 ranch, complete with rounding up cattle, driving them to market, and surviving with 1867 technology.

As interesting as that sounds, what really made the show interesting were the interpersonal dynamics between members of the cast. The show was setup such that a family (mother, father, and three daughters) owned the ranch. They employed 9 ranch hands to build corrals and round up cattle as well as one "girl of all work" to help around the house. The ranch owner turned out to be an incredibly ineffectual manager who alternated between micromanaging and completely neglecting his employees. His wife had strong opinions about how to run the ranch, but forced her husband to lay down the law while sat in the background listening. At points I even found myself getting really upset about the inept way that they were managing their business.

I really liked this idea about using shows like this as management training tools. Experience is the best way to learn management, and shows like this could be really interesting case studies.

Here and here are a couple of blog posts about the show that I liked.

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