It’s a sad fact of life, the majority opinion is not always correct. Not that I dislike democracy, I think it is probably the best way to be governed, and greatly preferred to some very dark alternatives. Which is why I think a good democracy must have laws and ways to protect the minorities, even though that is sometimes irksome to the majority.
During my life I have had the privilege of working in many different areas, and had the opportunity to observing a great deal. I am more than ever convinced that the corporate majority way of ‘being’ just does not cut it, even though; sadly, that is often where we end up.
Some of the corporate organisations that I have observed include church, business, social services and education; regularly the ‘company man’ will tell me how I should do it and why my way of doing it is wrong. I look at what is being done in the name of the establishment and it frequently causes me to let out a load groan. They seem not to notice that what is being done is inefficient, usually lacking heart and passion, often controlled by Mr. Jobsworth. If sense is common, then I don’t see that, as it seems to be regularly lacking in practice. Corporations have become large, impersonal and dehumanised as anyone will know who has sat on the end of an interminable telephone answering system, stabbing at menu choice after menu choice as the tension mounts.
I look at Social services and think; this is just too big. If it was smaller, more personal, with more manageable units and real accountability, surely that would work better.
I am involved in education, running small schools, but often get told ‘that won’t work’, usually by people who have been trained ‘in the system’. 30 years of doing this has shown me that actually, it does work, and works very well!
Church is another area of involvement. When I first moved to London I took charge of a couple of congregations, their leadership at the time asked my why I was changing certain things, my answer was to try to do what I believed ‘church’ was supposed to do. Their response ‘do you know if what you are doing will work?’ I was honest and told them I did not know. They got very upset and said, ‘if you don’t know if it will work or not, but you are changing it, that’s a bad thing to do, why are you doing that?’ I responded without hesitation, ‘we already know that what is being done at the moment doesn’t work don’t we.’
As Anthony Robbins says, (he is a self-help author and motivational speaker) “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”.
In the business arena people talk to me ‘who know’ and tell me how to do it successfully. And usually it is not the way that I am doing it. I don’t think I have failed yet, it may depend on the measuring rod I am using, but what I am doing looks successful to me even though I am not doing it your way.
These advisers often tell me that what I plan to do ‘can’t be done’. But I am a stubborn curmudgeon and don’t understand the word ‘can’t’. In many instances, what they tell me can’t be done, I have already done successfully. But I save my breath because even if I did tell you I don’t think you would hear me.
Where am I going with this? What I am saying is be careful about throwing away, dismissing, casting cold water and poo pooing that ‘alternative’ idea, plan or operation. It might just be the answer we have all been looking for, just because it challenges your training, gets you out of your comfort zone or is not how it has always been done. Having no experience does not mean it will be a non-starter, be daring, be bold, be alternative!
Thursday, 28 January 2010