Sic transit gloria mundi
Michael Hammer, the father of reengineering, died on September 3. His passing received surprisingly little attention in the press. He was, without a doubt, one of the most influential business thinkers of our time.
His 1993 book, Reengineering the Corporation, was a best seller. Fortune magazine named him one of the 25 most influential Americans (along with Martha Stewart and Oprah.)
The term reengineering soon went out of vogue after it became synonomous with layoffs and out-sourcing. In most cases, the corporate bureaucrats were simply using "reengineering" as a fig leaf to cover-up old fashioned cost-cutting. Very few were following Hammer's advice that they start with a clean sheer of paper to redesign their corporate processes.