Tuesday, 23 December 2008

feeling a bit sad

It's almost Christmas and I probably should write about something a bit happier, but I suddenly feel a bit sad about business and work. I'll use my favourite analogy again: the body
the body works amazingly well with so many different parts and organs because there is a high level of division of labour, each organ is only good at doing one thing and nothing else. in fact this is not amazing, sometimes it is even detrimental since if the kidneys fail, or the heart fails, or the brain fails, or the stomach fails, then the whole body collapses since no other organ is able to replace them. big companies are better at this in this sense, people in a department can be replaced - they might not do a good job but the company will still function. however, the amazing thing is how all the organs work together.
there is absolutely no selfish interest for each organ, the kidney wouldn't boast its performance by pretending that it cleans the blood more than it did and thereby gaining more oxygen or whatever currency the body works in; the eyes wouldn't claim to be able to see further and clearer than they can so that the brain interprets signals from the eyes more than it deserves, likewise the ears wouldn't compete with the eyes and try to get a bigger share of sensory input to the brain. what the sensory organs do is that they give the best and accurate information they have to the brain so that the most well-informed decision can be made about what to do in any situation.
big companies are different: there is a single currency which is pure money, departments often compete with each other so that each makes sure that their department has the biggest share of fund possible. this problem occurs most acutely when two or more departments are having similar functions, or have similar goals. of course, the goal, or the justification of each department's existence, is generating money for the company. therefore, each department, to some degree, compete, and sometimes they do what the eyes and ears in our body do not do, namely they have to present information that are not entirely true, or they give part of the full picture, in order that they do not lose out in the competition. this necessarily leads to misjudgement and misinformation when the company as a whole needs to make any decision.
what I feel people do not understand thorughly is that giving out wrong information does not just hurt a company, but what it tends to do is that it makes a department look very good short term, but in the end, there wijll be no substance to support the expansion, and therefore the department suffers more than it deserves at a later date. and this is sad.

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