Postcards from Scotland are published by the Centre for Confidence and Well-being, a registered charity based in Scotland. Registered No. SCO37080

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Book 5 | Letting Go

Breathing new life into organisations


Tony Miller & Gordon Hall


It is now commonplace for employees to feel frustrated at work – ground down by systems that are dominated by rules, protocols, guidelines, targets and inspections. Tony Miller and Gordon Hall explore the origins of ‘command and control’ management as well as the tyranny of modern day ‘performance management’. They argue convincingly that effective leaders and managers should ‘let go’ of their ideas on controlling staff and instead nurture intrinsic motivation. The book also shows that good managers need to develop management systems which actively support the human spirit, enabling creativity and allowing staff to perform their jobs properly.

The ideas in this book could breathe new life into struggling organisations and are a breath of fresh air for thinking about the world of work.


Tony Miller is an electrical engineer. He worked in both industry, in the UK and abroad, and in academia. He retired recently from the School of Engineering at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. As well as engineering subjects, he lectured at postgraduate level on the application of the philosophy of W. Edwards Deming to safety management and the science of management.


Gordon Hall is the CEO of the Deming Learning Network in Aberdeen. He is particularly interested in identifying the theoretical assumptions underpinning current management practice, and also how we cooperate within organisations and across society as a whole. He initiated a group known as the Unreasonable Learners, whose basic aim is to seek cooperation amongst the many forward thinkers across Scotland.