Network of Ignorance

One Day. Back to gym and a right good episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” in their series on the War of 1812, specifically about the rather fumbling Chesapeake Incursion. But in and around I got to pay a bit of attention to the flickering electromagnetic audio-visual receivers and was prompted by the hullabaloo over the Naismith Pornographic Extravaganza know as March Insanity to consider some aspects of (b) things that are unpopular and important, and (c) things that are popular and unimportant.

These contrast to (a) things that are unpopular and unimportant, and (d) things that are popular and important.

I will leave sorting the four states out because I primarily want to talk about the relationship of the two states considered in the context of organization.

I am continually surprised at how inaccurate (or absent) is the average Amerikan’s knowledge (and understanding) of organizations. This isn’t just the so called man-in-the-street, which should be expanded to man-in-the-street-with-his-nose-in-a-slablet. It also includes the members of such organizations and all too frequently the people who manage these organizations. This seems to be one of those areas where we Amerikans value ignorance over knowledge. 

Some people – rather fewer than one may suppose – know that an organization is also a network that extends beyond the organization itself. But they do nothing with the knowledge. It’s rather like knowing the capital of Lower Umsquat. And they don’t use that network viewpoint to understand how their organization is and how it functions.

Hence the consideration of (b) and (c). Parts of the organization may be unpopular and important and are thus persecuted or dissolved by management and the organization suffers, falters, or collapses. Similarly, parts of the organization may be popular and unimportant and thus exalted or rewarded and thereby resources are wasted and important bit (and people) ignored and the organization suffers, falters, or collapses.

This is the situation with all organizations, including corporations and governments. I mention these two specifically because it is in these organizations that this lack of understanding can be most lethal. 

Corporations are organizations to gather money. They only gather money if people want (and buy) their products. And people usually only have to buy their products if they want to. Now, we live in an age of new. So many corporation managements think they have to be new to make money, forgetting that people like change best (that is somewhat instead of not-at-all) when it is their idea. And the corporations pretend to understand this by using advertising, which is equally broken. That is, unpopular and maybe important. We have lots of new corporations these days, often because old corporations lost track of their organization/network.

Similarly, people seem to miss that government is primarily supposed to practice the laws enacted by Congress as directed by the Executive and not forbidden by the Judiciary. It’s a maintenance organization in the main. The big thing, which people don’t understand, is you can’t call a fix-it guy when it breaks. 

Asimov proven again.