stuck somewhere in-between

it is rainy and foggy here in cleveland. it was great to visit Zollverein School last month and had a chance to interact with the students. as i was reflecting on the conversation, one question that ringers with me was the comments that i heard after the talk. that was how i resolve the tension between the modernistic idea of vision and identity and the post-modernistic idea of becoming, the emphasis on verbs, and the multiplicity of meanings. then i realized that i am perfectly happy to be stuck somewhere between the two positions. the modernistic top-down idea of vision and organizational identity denies the vibrant life from diversity and richness of practices. at the same time, a complete post-modern position on becoming may lead to despair. i think it is the movement between the two positions that generates the life and energy in our lives. we always want to strive to be someone. we think we know what we are doing. we think we gather ourselves. we think we have a vision — kind of. then, we realize we are not. we act out of the stream of our consciousness. we then rationalize and make sense of our actions in the Weickian sense. that type of existential struggle is what management is about in real life. for a long time, management discourse has been dominated by only one side of story. a mountain-top experience of vision and identity. yet, the real world is in the town. we need to come down from the mountain top. that is where the real problems are. but we should not forget what is possible up there.

Leave a Reply