A Story of a Post-Truth Civilization

A Story of a Post-Truth Civilization

Imagine a country. For over fifty years, it was the dominant economic and military force in the world. Its people were prosperous. Its way of living admired. It led the world in science and art. Its culture admired the world over. It produced a wealth of fabulous artists, writers and thinkers. 

It then got involved with a costly overseas war. That lasted for decades. That it couldn't win. That bankrupt it. The faith of its people in the leaders was tested. They had believed that the country was invincible. Its religion mighty and true. Its army undefeatable. 

The result? Its political class split.

One group believed that the country needed to return to traditional roots. That the new ways of thinking had undermined the country's strength. That a return to the old ways would reinvigorate it. The old faith had to re-emerge. Stronger and more vital than before. 

Another group blamed the establishment. The politicians and the aristocracy. They wanted to suspend democracy. Impose an oligarchy of hard-edged money-makers who would return the country to prosperity. Permanently shut up those that thought and acted differently. Making sure they couldn't stay in the country. Or something worse. 

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What is a Healthy Organisational Culture

What is a Healthy Organisational Culture

The clue is in the word. Organisation. From organ. An arrangement of specialist parts (i.e. heart, liver, kidney) that make a larger whole. The etymology of organisation is from the human body. It's one of many metaphors management research has borrowed. Usually from the natural sciences or technological innovation. To try and explain how organisations work. 

Trendy Metaphors

Looking at the trends, it seems we have not moved too far. The body metaphor persists. Organisations must be lean, agile and flexible. They must carry no flab. An optimised combination of bone, sinews and muscle.  Capable of making the organisation look hot, quick and strong.

They must be able to leap from one opportunity to the other. Never miss a step or stumble.  Land with such ease that complicated manoeuvring looks simple. They must be able to twist themselves into all manner of shapes to adapt to the task at hand.

We're talking Brad Pitt merged with Nadia Comaneci, topped off with a little Zlata.  

Now, it's not to say that these concepts are bad or wrong.  But that they come replete with built-in blind spots and risks. Just like all our other organisational metaphors did. Risks and blind-spots that a further investigation of the metaphor will reveal. For example:

Leanness: Whilst leanness is far healthier than obesity, it carries inherent health risks. A too lean body leads to decreased performance. The increased risk of fractures and illness. The loss of reproductive function, dehydration and starvation. Organs can get damaged, weird growths can occur. You might even die.

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Donald Trump: The Post-Ironic Leader

Donald Trump: The Post-Ironic Leader
In recent months, we have seen Donald Trump hit front pages at an increasingly regular rate. Trump has talked about walling up Mexicans (and getting them to pay for the privilege), banning Muslims from entering the US, the no-go areas of Islamic extremism making the police afraid for their lives in London, his excellent health, menstruation causing...
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Socrates and Emotional Intelligence. Or not!

Socrates and Emotional Intelligence. Or not!
The estimable Dr. Travis Bradberry yesterday posted a LinkedIn update consisting of the following:Him saying, "Great advice from long ago."A quote, being, "The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." A picture of a bust of Socrates, with the words "Socrates, Greek Philosopher" below it.H...
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