What I (really) think
More and more, I am confronted by contradictory trends in the world of organisations. On one hand, there is a world of what I refer to as organisational dinosaurs, inherently unmanageable, giving greed and egos a boost and entitling themselves to power without responsibility, thereby increasing the vicious circle between big business, big government and big crime. And luckily on the other hand, I see networks, adaptive and flexible, causing temporary structures and activities to achieve importance.
My work is looking at the world of organisations as intrinsically small, whatever the globalisation and huge scale rhetoric used. As human beings, we are only able to work on a human scale. We are limited to our three bits parallel processing brains and to the span of attention with which they provide us. Our small scale decisions and actions may have huge effects, but the effects are mostly unintended, and it makes the idea that we have control over the systems we manage totally preposterous.
A manager's job
The only way a manager can do a good job is by being aware of being at the centre of various relationship networks and that the only thing (s)he can manage is her/his side of these relationships; in other words, being sensitive and perceptive, looking and listening.
And last but not least, a good manager is mindful of being a part of these networks, not existing outside of them. It is this belief that makes it possible to suffer and to enjoy the effects of the immense complex self-regulating mechanisms of which we are a part.
Our poor understanding of these is what makes life, work and managing simultaneously frustrating and fascinating. I hope my work conveys in some measure not only my frustration but also my own fascination with the inexhaustible wealth of human activities.