Management is so last century

As David Weinberger said in The Cluetrain Manifesto, ‘Management is a powerful force, part of a larger life-scheme that promises us health, prosperity, calm and no surprises in every aspect of our lives, from health to wealth to good weather and moderately heated coffee from McDonald’s. We are all victims of this assault on voice, the attempt to get us to shut up and listen to the narrowest range of ideas imaginable.’

Here here.

It’s bizarre, when you think about it, that we seek health, prosperity and calm in a framework that’s configured to avoid surprises (not to mention the fact such management frameworks do quite the opposite, restricting prosperity and wrecking your health… duh!).

Essentially a framework that avoids surprises is setting us up for a fall, given that life is totally unpredictable (just look at the accuracy of trending, forecasting and predicting in retrospect – we’re pretty much always wrong, usually wildly, except for the one in a zillion folk who are hailed as heros / experts because they won the prediction lottery).

We’re actively encouraged (forced?) to surrender our individuality in return for a financial bribe and a supposedly non-disturbing, secure, predictable, managed environment. How damaging is that?

If we focused on understanding basic psychology – and in particular neuropsychology – rather than technology, management, or most things to do with ‘professionalism’, we’d learn to cope with surprises. There’s no anti-depressant and productivity tool quite like understanding what your brain is up to (which is normally the opposite of all the crap we reel off in our inner narrative). We’d learn to adopt calm by flicking switches that send neurons on productive paths, as opposed to destructive panic / depression / fear trains of thought. Most importantly, we’d learn that we have myriad choices… without all the BS constrains we confabulate, largely as a result of managed structures and irrational fears.

Coupled with the lack of cynicism and suckerism for imbalance and hype, our denial, biases and love of fallacy are at best sub-optimum… at worst bloody dangerous.

Every last pirate-lynching dinosaur the management structure spews out has been conditioned to fear change – to be unwilling to accept that bettering society involves doing new stuff that isn’t business as usual. It’s not business as usual! IT IS NOT BUSINESS AS USUAL!! Some folk never seem to get it. “But I’ll be out of a job!” they shriek. “More fool you,” we think quietly, while we bend and flex and change at pace with the world… mostly ignoring them and opting to avoid a ‘proper job’ at all costs (although some of us work form the inside).

The thing is, the pirates, the Scrmblrs and every single one of us are changing and bettering society from the bottom up. We’re faster, more innovative and powerful. We organise without organisations. We run on leadership, not management; passion, not KPIs. We’re not afraid to let one-another loose… in fact we love loose cannons. They’re our favourite.

You know who you are!

(Email me!)

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