Confronting our human fallacies
Question: In taking control of the House this week, Republicans have committed themselves to investigating and repealing all of the major initiatives taken by the Democratic president and Congress over the past two years. How much should the new leaders of any organization focus on undoing the past as opposed to charting a more affirmative course for the future?
The past can never be relived. It's over. There is no such thing as "undoing" it. Leaders must always focus on the present and the future, and work to identify what their organization needs to best get it from here to there. The world is changing so fast. The belief that any policy from the past is absolutely right (or wrong) is usually out of date by the time a new leader comes into office. As humans, we struggle with looking ahead. We struggle with change. It is so much easier to say in the face of potential change, "That's how we've always done it and it's worked," or, "We tried that before and it didn't work."
It often seems that, on an innate level, humans are ill equipped to organize effectively, whether it be in the private, public or not-for-profit sectors. Our technological capabilities to build and organize networks efficiently over the Internet have far outstripped our social capacities to build and manage more formal, complex human organizations. Yet, our 8-billion-person planet of the 21st century will need courageous leaders who know how to break through the change-averse pathologies of established bureaucracies to drive humanity forward. It's hard to imagine how our current political process will allow us to elect and provide ongoing support for the public-sector leaders who could get us there.
January 4, 2011; 11:38 AM ET
Category: Accomplishing Goals , Congressional leadership , Government leadership , Leadership weaknesses Save & Share:
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Posted by: armyofone | January 8, 2011 3:42 AM
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