Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Is Executive Arrogance and Hubris a Fractal in Today’s World?

Dear President Bush,

As I look around the world today it seems so different from ten to fifteen year ago. Back then numerous leaders looked in many places for insights. They looked to Dr. Deming the man who helped grow the Japanese economic miracle post WWII. People in charge of businesses and the government looked to our natural world for lessons and insights. Things seemed and felt more open, more holistic, more hopeful.

One lesson from the natural world is that patterns exists which repeat themselves on various levels of scale, from the very small to the very large. Those patterns are called fractals. Similarities occur between various parts of nature. Patterns exist in the veins and arteries of the human body. The appearance of a creeks, streams and rivers in a watershed from high above looks similar.

These patterns can be expressed mathematically, i.e. there is an invisible organizing principle. Management principles are also invisible and serve to produce behavioral fractals within an organization as they provide the foundation and formulas for human interactions.

The state of leadership in the world seems to have shifted in the last decade or so. It shifted from servant leader to emperor/ruler, from understanding systems to achieve capable performance to imposing it by edict or bribing it by manipulation, from cooperation or win/win to competition and win/lose, from joy to fear, and from giving people a good job to do to viewing people as disposable.

Executive edicts, bribing, win/lose, fear, & firings cause me to wonder if arrogance and hubris are the math of today’s leaders? What else would produce the fractals of behavior we see today? It could be ignorance, but I didn’t think leaders could unlearn what they had already ingested. Either we have a new batch, the training didn’t take or someone rewrote the underlying principles. Maybe it’s a combination of all four and their interactions.

The solution could be Dr. Deming’s system of profound knowledge. Your administration uses the lingo but violates its core principles. Check it out.

No comments: