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« Me First! | Main | We are in crisis because we believe we can ignore reality »

Brexit, the EU, and a school of fish

So Brexit won… God Bless those Brits!  They have hopefully stopped a slow-motion catastrophe that sooner or later was destined for catastrophic failure.

The problem with the EU AND the US government is they continue to use old and dis-proven top-down, command-and-control system design.  It’s not as though there isn’t some general agreement on desires and goals, it’s how best to achieve them (hint, freedom is always the best choice)

These governmental organizational designs are from over a hundred years ago.  The management thinking that accompanies them was discarded decades ago in this country.  Few employees in today’s world would like to be managed as they were when these structures were first introduced… so why do the elites think people will like (and accept) this from THEIR government… remember they work for us, not the other way around.

Empowering employees… driving decision making down to the lowest possible level… considering employees an asset, not an expense… flatter organizations with no wasted and unnecessary management layers (needless paper pushing doesn’t accomplish anything and distracts from those things that are important)… designing nimble organizations that can quickly adapt to changing conditions… these and many more organizational design improvements have transformed businesses across the globe.

Yet the EU (yes, we will tell you what type and shape of carrots you can purchase!) and the US government cling tightly to outdated and unworkable systems.

Think of a school of fish… there is no fish leader… there is no fish management… there are only individual fish who respond to what the fish around them do.  It is amazing but rather than leading to chaos, it leads to order and structure… but one of a very fluid nature.

And when a hungry barracuda cuts through the school, it scatters into multiple schools which quickly re-form back into the full school (minus a fish or two).

Think of how a school of fish would function under the EU’s (and the federal government’s) top-down, command-and-control design.  There would have to be “super” fish of varying management power telling the others what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.  It is difficult to even imagine how a school like this would even function.  It would be incredibly slow in responding to almost anything. 

Information would have to flow up from the bottom, going through multiple super-fish layers until it reached the top-fish.  If fish communicate anything like humans, the information the top-fish received would be far different than what started at bottom.  Then the top-fish would make a decision and the information would flow back down through all those layers of super-fish until it reached the individual fish in the school.

It could never function in the real world.  And if by some miracle it did, what would happen when that same barracuda attacked the school?  It would completely fall apart.  There would be no way for the information to flow up and then back down in time to address the attack.    

Rather than the elegance of the natural school… reacting, bending, flowing apart and then back together again… the top-down school would splinter and cease to function.

Now a school of fish’s time frame is much shorter than the EU and federal governments, but the same forces are at work.  And much like gravity and other natural forces, these things are true whether anyone likes it or not.

The concept of the EU may make sense at various levels but the system design(s) are simply inadequate in dealing with reality.  Unfortunately those who drive the EU are also the ones who see themselves as the super-fish and thus they are hesitant to change the design and let the school be the school.  People seldom willingly give up power over others… unfortunate but true.

It the Brexit vote forces them to reconsider their top-down, command-and-control thinking, the Brits will have done the world a favor.  Now if only the American public would have the same epiphany, we might even be able to save this great country of ours (sorry Bernie & Hillary but your solutions ARE the problem).

Please share if you agree.



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