Sunday, March 25, 2007

Ideas and Power

A great challenge for large organizations is how to build a bridge between those who have the ideas and those who have the power.

The two groups, of course, are not mutually exclusive, but those in power are often so absorbed with its exercise and preservation that they can miss things which are be obvious to those on the outside.

Conversely, those without the power may fail to understand the full range of constraints surrounding those within the inner circle but they have the advantage of time and curiosity. Their schedules, which are generally less pressing, can make them more open to ideas that contain real opportunity. They have an ability to specialize and explore that is no longer available to the powerful.

Those with the power have to devise ways to break through the comfortable but limited circle of advisors and entertain new ideas. Those without the power have to adjust their ideas to fit the realities faced by the powerful or else they'll be too easily dismissed as impractical.

Each camp has its prejudices and the wisest members, knowing their inherent limitations, will maintain some humility.

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