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Preserving The Problem

Because I’m a shirker, I love Clay Shirky. Not only does he have a kool name, the guy is an innovative thinker:

“Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.” — Clay Shirky

Like many rich and insightful quotes that I stumble upon, I didn’t quite get this one at first. But after thinking about it, I conjured this one up:

While espousing that they want unity of purpose, collaboration, esprit de corps, teamwork, and yada-yada-yada, the juntas in head sheds everywhere unwittingly (wittingly?) preserve the very same problem they supposedly want solved. In this example, the problem is poor corpo performance caused by fragmentation, isolation, stratification, disengagement, and mis-communication. CCRATS not only preserve the performance problem, I’ll go one better than the Clayster. I’ll assert that CGHs amplify the stank by nurturing and perpetuating their hand made caste system of divisive titles, arbitrary reward systems, and socially disconnected working units/departments/groups. It’s silo city – by design.

So why do head sheds everywhere perpetuate this Alice In Wonderland behavior in spite of the ominously growing evidence that it doesn’t work in an increasingly flat and globally connected world? Because changing the entrenched system they collectively built to take care of themselves would flatten the hierarchy and cause them to come tumbling down from the heavens. Do you think many of the “honorable and infallible” talking heads of our institutions want, or have the will, to give up their elevated personal standing for the greater good of  the whole? I suspect not many, but those who can and do will prosper in this age of rapid change.

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