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General update and further thoughts

General update:
I have a total of 28 weeks of class left before I (theoretically) graduate. How I do thesis research and coursework at the same time is a bit of a puzzle. I’m unrealistically proud of my 4.0 average, but prioritization may come into play during my last two classes and necessitate a B. Which is really counter to my uber-perfectionist-secretly-afraid-I’m-really-a-slacker personality. Hopefully I can pull it all off and also not drive David completely insane. Come December, I will have three, count them, three degrees to my name. Woo! Anyone know where I can get a business ethics related PhD? I keed, I keed. I think.

Further thoughts on the nature of leadership, ethics, and organizational culture:
Most organizations really don’t know what they’re doing. The things that the founders/leaders are comfortable with or uncomfortable with become conventions, and then they become unsurfaced cultural artifacts – rules of conduct that we generally pick up intuitively and then promptly forget. The problem is most people don’t give a lot of thought to the fact that when they form an organization they’re creating a mini-society in their own image. And all of our personalities are limited and flawed. So unless our founders and leaders are introspective enough to recognize this fact, some really strange, counterintuitive, and bizarre behaviors can become codified.

I recently finished what I hope proves to be my FINAL paper on my Former Place of Employment, and the most interesting thing I learned was how a really self-referential, self-reinforcing culture can blind people to physical, obvious truths. It’s not just about how the culture effects the way you see things, it’s about whether or not the cultural constraints allow you to see it at all. And in the case of my former place of work, the espoused (projected) internal culture was so strong, and so embedded, that as long as you can speak the jargon, wear the tee-shirt, and shake the super secret handshake, you can get away with pretty much anything. As you might imagine, this leaves room for some teensy little ethical problems. It means that crafty and unscrupulous people figure out how to work the system, and work it they do. Meanwhile the execs continue to comment on the openness and beauty that is their organization, even when evidence to the contrary has been formally presented to them by people they pay to do just that.

What is it in our makeup that allows us to put our faith in human systems that are by their nature flawed? Seriously. We’re human, we’re flawed. But we’re always holding out for that nirvana-like place where we no longer have to think critically, question, or suspend judgment either way. I’m highly inquisitive by nature, but I do it, too. What gives?

Anyway, those are my Deep Thoughts of the Day. Enjoy.