What Have They Done to My Song, Ma

Read this post in: French

broken organization

credit: Erwin Schoonderwaldt

“Look what they done to my song ma
Look what they done to my song
It’s the only thing I could do alright
And they turned it upside down
Oh ma, look what they done to my song”
– Melanie –

We know the importance of experience, of the accumulation of tips, tricks and shortcuts that nurture our curiosity and our ability to adapt to new situations. Yet, we judge the skills and capabilities of one’s life mostly upon curriculum and diplomas, upon a period of five to eight years. Is that reasonable?

We value creativity, experimentation and intellectual curiosity, yet we ask our youth to abdicate the most creative and innovative part of their life to conform to a formal yoke that we call education. Can we really adapt to an ever changing environment while enforcing such a mechanistic process?

We aim at economic growth. Yet the resources we rely on are finite, if not decaying. The only infinite resource at our disposal is knowledge, yet we leave more and more people, thus more and more sources of knowledge, on the side of the road. Is that sustainable?

We look for, encourage and measure individual performance. Yet, any sport coach knows that collective efficiency is what matters, and that individual performance often gets in the way. Is that sane?

We value our customers. Yet we keep on feeding them with products they don’t need, with the false premise of making their life better, when what really matters is our income. Is that honest?

The world we used to live in no more exists. Yet, all the mechanisms and beliefs that prevailed during the industrial era are still the ones that rule our education system, our organizations, our life. We are still playing the same old song with new lyrics and new instruments, while the need to change the melody becomes more and more obvious. We don’t need new performers anymore. To thrive in today’s world, we need new composers.

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