Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | July 21, 2009

Corporate and Military Disconnects

Why is there, often, a disconnect between corporate and the people in their stores, and the beaurocrats and the men on the battlefield? It happens way too often. Is it that the workers and the soldiers don’t see the larger picture, are not given enough information, and therefore decisions make no sense? Or is it that the people making the decisions on policy are not informed of the reality of what’s happening on the ground and try to force through policies that they think ought to make sense?

Too oftne, in business and in war, one of the primary concerns is the bottomline, money, doing with less. Less workers, less hours, less soldiers, less supplies, ostensibly making the venture cost effective. A lot of times the decisions appear penny wise and pound foolish.

I don’t pretend to know the answers. There are people who have been doing this way longer than I have and have experience from the ground up. You need to trust the people you are working for. But I’m part of a generation who wore buttons on the Asbury Park Boardwalk that said “Don’t trust anyone over 30,” so, and we saw with Watergate and Viet Nam how our trust was abused.

From the tai chi perspective, I can only do what I can do, no more and no less. I work hard, I do my best, I give my best. I cannot embrace this as my entire life. A job is just a job in my case, and I need my free time. I’ll do what needs to be done, but it’s hard when you feel you’ve got one hand tied behind your back.

It’s interesting to see how people react to a tai chi personality in the work place. At first blush, higher ups think you are too laid back, mistaking calm and efficiency for the former. Underlings think you aren’t doing your job and that they are getting saddled with all the work. But in time, in an almost invisible way, things get done, the numbers go up, and maybe most everybody’s happy, not everybody.

I will say, that in some cases, if you put the worker in charge of the business, or the soldier in charge of the war, you might meet with success. In a lot of cases, you’d have a disaster. Some kind of happy medium is in order.

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Responses

  1. Hi Mike, we’re back from the East Coast. We loved Columbia. Victoria is a little homesick but she is having a great time. The school feels great. I imagined Merton around every corner.


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