Black Holes

Let me begin with a statement from a previous posting:


“When people are given the legitimate authority associated with a position in an organization’s (management) hierarchy, they are also necessarily entrusted with the development of those over whom they have been given formal authority.  Sadly some become intoxicated with exercising power over others that they deny and ignore the responsibility for the care and concern of others.  Upholding this latter responsibility is in large measure what separates the good leaders from the bad.” Continue reading

Parasite Or Partner

Doing More For Less (of us)

Getting the most out of people is not a bad thing but in the extreme it translates into squeezing the life out of them.  As Deming exclaimed, “beat horses and they will run faster—for a while.” Doing more with less implies squeezing more and more out of people until they drop. Continue reading

Capitalism’s Morality

In an article titled “The difference between private and public morality” Robert Reich states the “economy is built on a foundation of shared morality.”  So where is shared morality addressed among the precepts of our economic system? Though Reich notes, Adam Smith considered himself a moral philosopher—writing Theory of Moral Sentiments—I must add he also fashioned himself as a political economic philosopher by writing The Wealth of Nations.  The latter not the former book is the basis of our economic system.  And more to the point, the themes in these two works are far from being mutually supportive—they are as if penned by two separate individuals with different concerns—the former concerns ‘we’ and the later concerns ‘me’. Continue reading

We Shape The Leaders We Get

Ever wonder why so many of the top executives of corporations are similar in character? Why is it that many accept a huge compensation package while at the same time communicate that it is necessary to cast off many people for the sake of competitiveness? Why is it that many CEO’s seem disconnected from the very people who are living a work-a-day life in their organization exchanging their labor for a weekly paycheck? Why is it that the CEO seems to always satisfy his/her material self-interest irrespective of the performance of the corporation? Continue reading

Informed Citizens Make Better Choices

With political advertising being less factual and accurate and more disparaging to opponents, what we have is tantamount to a boxing match absent of a referee and rules. The equivalent of a bar fight where everything is a weapon and head butting and kicks to the groin are accepted (and even expected).   An informed citizenry can happen only by chance alone under these conditions. Continue reading

What We Are Doing To Each Other

Monthly we are told that the unemployment rate is essentially stuck in the neighborhood of 9% and that the real unemployment is more like 17 to 20%. We have about 25 million people unemployed and without the means to provide for the essential basic human needs. Those without jobs don’t need the monthly figures to tell them how bad things are.

While the unemployment rate is far less than heart warming, what is happening to many who still have a job is almost as dehumanizing.  According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being IndexÒ from 2008 through 2011 the work environment has been getting worse year-after-year.

What this means is that there is a 4-year declining trend in job satisfaction, treatment by supervisors, openness and trust in the workplace and the ability to use one’s strengths at work.  As noted in a Knowledge@Wharton article “with millions of people looking for employment, the workplace these days is an increasingly unhealthy environment for those who still have, and are trying to keep, their jobs.”

A Crime Against Humanity

Why is this happening? As previously noted the intention of many corporate executives is to squeeze labor more and more in order to realize greater and greater profit.  To quote Deming, “beat horses and they will run faster—for awhile.”  In a stagnant economy with a high unemployment rate most people have little recourse so they swallow what they are given, though grudgingly.  They are happy to have a job but not happy with the job they have!

Treating people as fungible objects in the economic equation for the purpose of maximizing one’s own gain is not only exploitation, it is plain and simple dehumanization. No wonder people find the work environment is losing all sense of meaning and worth! You can’t dehumanize people and expect human potential to continue to be available: In the end everyone loses.

We each seek work that not only provides the means for existence we also need work to provide a way to meaning in our existence!  People need to be humanly productive through work, and not just materially productive at work.   Accordingly, the more the workplace aligns with our humanness, the more humanly and materially productive the organization will be.

We Need Not Manage This Way

The issue is not whether those in authority within our organizations can get away with objectifying people, but whether people in management should treat other people this way.  Those who argue for this way of managing might say that the organization must show quarter-to-quarter profit gains and therefore gains by whatever means are justified.  Unfortunately justified action does not imply just action!

When you treat people as objects, you are essentially disregarding their humanness, and yours as well. When is this ever a good idea? Isn’t it time we stop to re-think what we are doing to each other (an unavoidably our self)?  Isn’t it time to envision and enact a better way of leading?

Since we participate in creating our reality, if we desire to live in a human world then we each must enact it. Isn’t it time that we act out of our personhood and not from an objectified view of our self.

If not now then when is a better time?  Have we really the time to waste?

Reflection #2 on Occupy Wall Street

For the most part we as a society seem to agree religion and the governance of society should not be intertwined.  That is, in theory, government of the people should be by and for the people (democracy) and not by anyone claiming he/she has the right to rule because of the power given to him/her by God (theocracy). Continue reading

A Reflection on Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street is bringing to most everyone’s attention that we, the 99%, are not mere cogs in the economic machinery and those in the executive suite are not our overlords.  I applaud the courage and commitment of those standing up for the rights of citizens. Continue reading