Fanaticism and Corporate Leadership

Philosopher George Santayana described fanaticism as "redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim."  Are our organisations full of IT fanatics?  Doggedly following practices that were appropriate; even cutting edge ten years ago but are now woefully out of step with the communications demands of a 21st century organisation?

While we are always questioning the quality of our information, our policy approach, our legislation, our best practice approach; Thomas Kuhn said there is one thing we consistently never do when confronted by even severe, consistent or prolonged failure.  We never renounce or even question the overarching model; our project, business, policy, planning or technology approach.  When our IT projects fail; which is all the time; our typical reaction is to redouble our efforts; rather than revisit our aims. 

As the capabilities in consumer IT explode exponentially (see my previous Huffington Post post(!!) below); is it time to drop the façade and embrace the fear?  Perhaps acknowledge that even the brightest and smartest on the planet have no freakin idea what the technology landscape will be like in two years; let alone the five-year horizon dictated by our budget and planning cycle.  That acknowledgement is not just limited to technology change leader; it needs to come also from their senior managers (CXOs) and boards alike.

Then what?  What about an IT and organisational environment that is agile enough to respond to continuous change?  Some more on that in my next post.

Wishing everyone a happy and abundant New Year.