I recently received the following article from an acquaintance – it was topical as his organisation were undergoing a seemingly bizarre restructuring process which, to employees on the ‘shop floor’, seemed to be arriving at some odd conclusions in the context of their operational output:
The main point of the article is that smart people can be stupid when they lack the correct ‘conceptual tools’ as a result of culture, ethos or specific pressures within their organisational group.
However, is the article fair? It’s a bit like accident investigation: no one consciously decides to do a bad job; no one consciously wants to cock it all up; actually, people/teams make a decision(s) that makes sense to them at the time, and which factors in the pressures, aims and objectives in their immediate world – it’s not possible to select new conceptual tools when you think you already have the right conceptual tools.
Which is why good leadership should also be humble and garner opinion, thoughts and advice from a wide variety of areas. And it’s why people on the outside-looking-in should be forthcoming and, in a constructive way, question and query ‘stupidity’ when it arises.
- If you’re a business owner, do you consult with your team with a genuine desire to get ideas and fresh inspiration for business development?
- Does your business/organisation have a genuine and real forum for allowing constructive criticism?
- If you’re a lower/middle-manager, do you have the confidence to constructively comment and advise your senior management on business processes?
You can be stupid – just allow other people to tell you when you are! And if they do, then take heed.