There's more to management life than you'll find in a journal
Transcript of this video:
When you live in a city like Cambridge as I do, certainly in term time, you’ll generally find every railing will either have a bicycle attached to it or be festooned with adverts for a whole variety of artistic and theatrical productions.
Some professional, but many organized by students. And if I were a student again, I’d quite like to put on a show which I would call the Harvard Business Revue. Only I’d spell revue. R E V U E, not I E W… as a somewhat affectionate pastiche, a comedic and musical pastiche, of the serious Harvard Business Review.
Because I think that it, and the kind of body of literature that it represents, has its value but I think tends to create a slightly dessicated view of what real organizational life is like.
In the Harvard Business Review I’ve noticed how many articles will refer to *senior* leaders. Often when I think that reference is a bit gratuitous. it will say, senior leaders need to understand complexity. Whereas I would take the view that just about anybody in any organization is going to be struggling with understanding complexity. And there’s something about the reverencing of seniority and hierarchy that I find slightly off-putting and comical.
Also the tendency to quote rather accurate-sounding statistics about very human things, like “63% employee engagement” which might appear to be saying that employee engagement is important but I think sort of subtly undermines our intuitive sense of its importance by acting as if everything must be presented with a statistic.
So the Harvard Business Revue, R E V U E above all would be an embodied, alive, theatrical experience; a visceral experience for the audience. Because of course, what’s missing from so much management literature is is the sense of actual embodiment. And I think there’s only so far we can get in many areas of the challenges of management that you can actually usefully document. It is actually something that has to be experienced and has to be performed.