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« VIDEO: Tim Jackson: Economics that serves the full potential of our humanity | Main | A litmus test for 21st Century leadership: what am I tracking? »

February 09, 2011


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Laurent Marbacher

Nice post, Steve. Thank you.
I like the way you talk about HBR "house style". But the real point is that all the pathologies you are describing (amnesia, virgin birth,...) have became pathologies of managers, and thus pathologies of organizations.
In that sense, practices like storytelling or appreciative inquiry have something to do with collecting memories, reconnecting with organizational meaning, paying attention to what's already there.
Now, I also think that what's new in this "Reinventing Management" trend is that it goes hand in hand with a larger and greater social consciousness allowed by both the level of education of people and sharing technologies. What happened in the 30's, the 60's or the 80's did not benefit from the same "social acceptance" as today. In the 80's I remember having seen studies and maps showing the strong correlation between the level of TV equipment/capita in different countries and the democratic nature of regimes. I am not aware of recent studies about this phenomenon, but I am sure there are. What happened in Tunisia or elsewhere show us that "education + social media" is a strong change driver.

Philip Whiteley

I have often written on this phenomenon, so it's pleasing to come across a like mind! To me, the amnesia stems from not questioning older, unwritten scripts: ie the myths that economies consist of money and that companies consist of 'resources'. These misanthropic biases cause even the best management thinkers to baulk at the implications of their own findings, and believe that they don't apply to organisational design, political decisions, etc. So they end up having to be re-invented. Nice to see Mary Parker Follet get a mention.

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