Friday, March 4

Alignment (or Big Brother II)

This is actually a comment on your earlier posting, but I couldn't resist adding the picture, so I've posted here.

It appears to me that the Big Brother ideal (see all, know all, control all) functions, in the eyes of many, as a driver of progress. It incites people with money to invest in technology because they know other wealthy control freaks have the budgets to buy and the will to extend their control. The phenomenon is as obvious in the technology industries as it is in contemporary politics.

The fearsome side of Big Brother is made to look more attractive and consistent with traditional ideals when its purveyors emphasize the advantages to the individual (retain all, access all). IBM calls it "just for me" (one step beyond "just in time"), but behind it there's the implicit notion of alignment, which might send chills up some people's spines.

As we attempt to build the pillars of the yet to be constructed collaborative culture that awaits us, I suggest that “coaching” , as you suggest, is a better place to start but that “mentoring” would be an even better place to finish.

What’s the difference between the two? Simple: spontaneity!


Dave Lee said...

First, I love the sign and the optical illusion due to the composition of the photo makes it priceless. I agree that some might fear the dark side of alignment.

I do, however, disagree that spontaneity is the difference between coaching and mentoring. I've often heard them used interchangably, but when a difference has been made it usually due to the nature of the leader - a coach is someone knowledgable but not necessarily experienced while a mentor is someone who is on or has been on the same path as the learner.

Clark Aldrich said...

Eliminating variability is critical for Quality and cost control.

Mutations is necessary for organic evolution.

Thus the management challenge.