And no, this is not a link to an earlier TPS report post. Click here to read about what makes a successful organization. Point by point, John Persico challenges conventional wisdom and inspires us to take a critical eye to how we manage. I know I took a hard look at myself after this one. Congratulations, John, you have earned yourself a place on the coveted right panel of the Its more fun than a TPS report blog. Unless I forget.
The article can best be summarized by the five pillars of success for organizations, which are: Dissent, Openness to criticism, Mutant employees, Examining the unknowable and unthinkable, and Looking for our blind spots. All of these things are extremely important, but the two I would highlight here are Examining the unknowable and unthinkable and actively looking for our blind spots. How, often, when challenged, are people quick to gloss over a potential weakness by saying ‘no, we’ve covered that because of x,’ and a the debate ceases. All of the things Persico mentions fit in very nicely with the human proclivity for the status quo bias.
He takes on a number of things that are considered standard practice. For example, he challenges, albeit indirectly, traditional job interviews and performance assessment/management. Plus, he unleashes my personal favorite quote:
“Do you surround yourself with people who like and agree with you? How open are you to criticism and argument? Do you always get the final say? Can you change your mind? When was the last time you gave in to someone else and changed a decision you had previously made? Are you always right?” (my emphasis).
I think this also fits nicely into the debate over professional certifications including this post by T. Cummins (along with comment from yours truly). People can become very complacent, and very happy that they know a lot of stuff. However, business conditions are always changing, and what you knew last year will only help you a little for this year. More important is the fluid intelligence of which I mentioned earlier, which will allow you to solve new problems as they arise. Check back over the next few days when all of this is tied to other thoughts on leadership.