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Strategic Indirection

“A penchant for the direct, the dramatic and the spectacular remains an overwhelming feature of the West in its dealings in the world of practical affairs. In business, corporate success is frequently credited to the highly visible contributions of heroic individuals ostensibly possessing almost superhuman qualities, including the vision and acumen to dramatically reverse the fortunes of faltering or failing enterprises. Leaders are construed as specially endowed causal agents armed with the capacity to take decisive actions in bringing about significant changes, thereby warranting their elevated status and their sometimes excessive rewards. This popular and romantic imagery of heroism in action derives from an inherited Western propensity to favour direct-causal, rational-calculative and high-profile actions over more discreet, indirect and at times understated gestures or responses in engendering a desired outcome. Consequently, there is a tendency to underestimate the self-transformative power of dynamic relational configurations and their ability to bring about desired outcomes. In this paper we show the downsides of the widely preferred ‘spectacular’ approach to achieving success and argue for greater appreciation of a less conspicuous, and less direct mode of engagement that is more in keeping with a world that is itself ever changing. We call this more nuanced approach ‘Strategic Indirection’. We maintain that, contrary to popular belief, sustainable success in any field of endeavour is rarely a consequence of large-scale, attention-grabbing actions. Rather, the true cause of such success is often found elsewhere in the ‘waning candlelight’ of seemingly inconsequential acts and mundane coping actions.”

future_fabulators/strategic_indirection.txt · Last modified: 2014/06/10 11:12 by nik