Spare me from statements of the obvious

Aug 28 2007 by Charles Helliwell Print This Article

When I read studies from such eminent and august institutions such as Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital that commitment is largely influenced by a person's sense of purpose, feeling of personal impact and overall trust in their organisation, I actually begin to wonder that if I were to stand on my head, would the blood rush to my head in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction; whether the moon rises in the West and sets in the East south of the equator and whether the surf breaks from right to left or left to right.

Please, let's have no more of this inanity.

Doesn't everyone know that productivity is largely affected by the quality of human relationships including cooperative, social group moods and interaction. Or must it now be postulated by the high and mighty before it's actually taken notice of?

Have we, as free thinkers, progressed so far that we have become brainwashed into the Emperor's New Clothes syndrome? Have we really lost the ability to think freely and actively and challenge the conventions that surround us? Have we become so conditioned that we MUST seek someone else's validation and verification for any original thought we might have?

Stop the wheel and let me off, please. Conventions, you can keep 'em. Enjoy the taste of your own bathwater, I'm off to enjoy something a little more stimulating; in a bottle, with a label marked Merlot. Cheers !


Older Comments

Because we're a nation of idiots who've been taught that someone always knows better. Who wants to run their own life?


Then clearly, Peter, you and I are just a tad smarter (or a tad more unconventional) than all the rest of the run-of-the-mill Rubber Ducks, bobbing around in the bathwater, right ?

Charles Helliwell London

This may appear obvious to you, but these matters are routinely ignored by executives and investors. The way in which businesses are planned, merged and reported upon is based upon the opposite - the pretence that people are 'intangible' and that the subjects of commitment, engagement, service etc can safely be ignored while faith is put in bogus notions like 'synergy'. Yes, the same finding has been uncovered again and again for 75 years, but it keeps getting buried by inflated importance given to accountancy measures, and bogus mechanistic modelling of the organization.

Philip Whiteley

Thank you Philip. Never a more truer word written. However, I suspect the challenge remains the same today as 75 years ago; how DO we get them to start taking this issue seriously ?

Charles Helliwell London

Well, Charles, I wish I knew. I've written books, including with MI columnist Max Mckeown, and articles and set up a Human Capital Forum. One problem is that a lot of people kind of grasp the issue, but not the scale of it. I would welcome ideas.

Philip Whiteley Bedfordshire, UK

I do have some thoughts on the matter, Philip, although they tend to verge on the radical side of organisational development, and i've never been bothered about pitching them to the organisations I work with. Instead, I just bumble along and introduce them into those organisations through the people I meet and am asked to work with. I was once asked to explain my processes to an organisation I was engaged with and got a 'rabbit-in-the-headlights' response for my troubles. Since then, I decided that I just couldn't be arsed anymore. Still I'd always welcome a wider dialogue with a fellow organisational anarchist !

Charles Helliwell London