10 August 2009


Several times in recent days I've found myself wanting to jump up and run screaming out of a meeting. Fortunately, my military training kicks in and prevents me from making a scene (actually that's probably unfortunate - one of these days, I should probably do it).

What stimulates such a response? Rampant cynicism, explicit statements of a preference for process over talent, descriptions of the workforce as "elementary schoolers," disparraging comments about the value of consensus and praise for top-down dictation of mandatory actions, enthusiastic condemnations of situations where people have been "given too much flexibility, and scoffing at the idea of hope. It's the sort of thing the villian would say in a movie or a book... except this is real life.

That last one really got me. I'd heard people say "Hope is not a strategy" before, but never with such venom.

Personally, I think hope is essential. Hope is a discipline. Hope is good. We should combine hope with planning, talent and thought, to be sure. But there is something foolish about throwing hope out the window and stomping on it with such enthusiasm.

And so, I persist in my hope that things will change. I hope I will be able to make a difference. I hope I'll succeed in nudging things in a good direction, a more human direction, where people are led and not pushed around... where people are treated as professionals, are trusted.

I've got a strategy to make this happen. I've got a plan. And hope is at the heart of it.


Craig Brown said...

Hope may not be a strategy, but as you say, it's mandatory if you want to achieve change.

Keep up the fight.

PS - I'm enjoying your thesis.

The Dan Ward said...

@Craig - Thanks and thanks! So glad to hear someone's reading the thesis. :) Lemme know if you have any questions or feedback!