Albert Einstein once described insanity as “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. He also said that: “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”
You don’t need to be an Economist or a Business analyst to conclude that the human race IS facing significant problems when even the mightiest of companies and industries collapse. Then, the one remaining question is: “What IS our current level of thinking about business?” or “Why does it get us into so much trouble?”
Well, we slice up organizations into silos of specialized knowledge such as finance, marketing and Information Technology. So, if your toolbox is filled with financial degrees, you have programmed your mind to solve financial problems with financial solutions. This explains the near insatiable appetite for more detail and specialization for optimizing effectiveness and efficiency of anything done inside the company. No wonder your options to improving Bottom Line results are limited to either Raising prices, Increasing sales or Cutting costs. But, no body cares about efficiency if your products and services fail to attract any buyers!
Is it possible that organizations collapse because we have forgotten the Purpose or raison d’être of organizations? What’s our organizing principle anyway? I know we need to make money but does that mean that making money is the purpose? Because human beings need to eat and drink, does that imply that eating and drinking must be the essence of life? We are trapped and bouncing off the walls inside our own boxes. Is it possible that we are on the wrong track and have come to a dead-end?
No matter how much smarter we work, or how much we improve our proficiency in performing ordinary tasks extraordinarily well, we’re still on the wrong track- period! Therefore, we don’t need more best-practices or newer, more advanced and faster tools because they represent only better means to wrong ends. Albert Einstein foresaw this obsession with tools of ours when he said: “The perfection of means and the confusion of ends seem to characterize our age.”
Nonetheless, from Universities to networking events we are offered more of the same solutions, but now with the additional mentioning in the title of: “… in difficult times.” Is that insane or not? You be the judge.