Robert Paterson is in the toppest-of-top form today in his entry Unjobbing. A few snippets:

All the rules of the old culture are based on the assumptions that the most important activity is control. The extension of this assumption is that if only we tried hard enough we could control everything. This illusion seemed to work when we did not operate in a global society. But when we began to operate in a global economy the complexity of controlling everything has overwhelmed us. As we talk about being more responsive, more customer-focused and more flexible, let

4 thoughts on “Unjobbing

  1. Tim

    This discursive/deconstructive approach to an organisation needs a balance. An organisation is a real thing. A brand is a real thing. They are not just narratives. Ok, you’ll say that narratives construct reality but walk around Tesco. It exists. Feel the shopping trolley, it either runs straight or not. You simply can’t say that a bad trolley is a good one. It isn’t.

    but I do understand the shaping of the brand and my experience of it is shaped by my attitude. I think branding is something that we give to a product/service/experience – not only what the company creates. So yes, we do co-create brands.

    Maybe that is why some people are never satisfied. They never will be.

    Interesting thoughts Johnnie. My critical psychology is coming back to me….But organisations and brands are real things. We play a part but not the whole part.

  2. Johnnie Moore

    Tim, yes I was probably a bit carried away when I said they are not real things. Perhaps it would have been better to say they are not fixed objects independent of our own thinking.

    But they are not like the shopping trolley. That’s a physical object, whereas organisations are webs of relationships and not independent of our consciousness as the shopping trolley is. (Unless you want to get deep into quantum physics anyway).

    This is probably all a bit of tangent to Robert’s central point, which is that the system companies operate boils down to promising one thing to customers, another to shareholders, and not really reconciling that conflict.

  3. Tim

    And that’s the wonderful thing about market forces. Such things reduce that gap. Increase competition and companies will reform their practices faster than consultants can write the invoice.

  4. Johnnie Moore

    Tim, thanks for coming in and prodding my thinking.

    And for opening another can of worms… I’m not convinced that an atmosphere of intense competition is always conducive to greater honesty. It may reduce the credibility gap or it may just force organisations into more desperate storytelling. Human beings sometimes think the best thing to do under stress is to do more of what is already not working.

    I don’t know about you, but I’m not personally experiencing a massive outbreak of grounded, honest communication from corporations at the moment! Nor am I hearing about CEOs who are bravely questionning the short-termism of their City overseers…

    Also, there are interesting questions about the sustainability the form of intense competition if based on noisy advertising and trivial innovation. Tragedy of the commons blah blah. But I’ll save that for another post (unless you continue to provoke me, which would be fun also)


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