Can a group of intelligent people project stupidity? Yes, indeed, it can. Social systems – i.e., organizations – are more than the sum of their parts. They have a life of their own, and when that life grows older, it may affect the system in a way like what older humans cannot escape: Their arteries harden, they begin to move more slowly, they reject the new and stick to the old, they fail to adapt and tend to stew in their own juice.
The problem is that such a system fails to even recognize its dilemma, its own limitations, which makes things difficult, albeit not without all hope. The good news is that there is a remedy for organizational stupidity. In the cover story of the magazine “managerSeminare,” I describe how typical learning blockages function and provide some ideas for “decalcifying” an organization.
- Operational dumbness: Why intelligent people do not make intelligent organizations
- Mindful constraint: Six learning blockages that point to organizational stupidity
- Caution, calcification ahead: Why organizations get dumber over time
- Getting smart: How to fight organizational stupidity
- Tutorial: Guidance for cleaning up your practices
- How to make market-oriented decisions: Consultative individual decision-making
Use this link to download the entire article with all available extras (PDF).
The managerSeminare has made a professional audio version of the text available.