Friday, February 10, 2023

Remembering Conquest's Insight

 "The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies."

- Robert Conquest

The old historian's words often come to mind. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs are the sabotage du jour in many large organizations. Their actions are not only tolerated but celebrated and yet their short term and long term effects are very harmful.

What are some less specific culprits to watch for? Here are some big ones:

  • A lack of urgency. [Items that should be urgent are routinely pushed to the back of the line.]
  • Unneeded complexity. [The adage is correct: As soon as you are complicated, you become ineffectual.]
  • A courage deficit. [If your team is deficient in people who lack the guts to take a stand, that is not a minor problem. It may be lethal.]
  • An abundance of weasels. [One is too many and, if left alone, the numbers will grow. Weasels hire other weasels.]
Keep Conquest's words on your desk as a frequent reminder. Put it next to the medical rule: "First, do no harm."


Bloggophereo said...

Back from Phoenix, a great trip, and great weather. Thanks for the suggestions.

This post reminds me of Margaret Ann Vosper (born 1958), known as Gretta Vosper, - an ordained minister of the United Church of Canada who is a self-professed atheist.

How can a church continue when it's ministers are atheists? Slow death of that church.


Michael Wade said...


I'm glad the trip went well and you missed the SuperBowl crowds.

Thanks for the story about the atheist minister. I've met a few as well as lawyers who don't believe in the law.