OpenGov can it overcome the “Conformists”

From my blog

Aug’ 18th 2007

To Open governance – what does it mean? – (Not) To be conformist, foster individualism, collaboration & creative worker, what does bureaucracy mean? Does it impede Open Governance?!!

The Lucifer Effect

May be ‘One Who Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’ is a better title – Anyway this revolves around the subject dealing with Middle Management Mediocrity. We often accuse higher management for failures. In reality as much damage is also done by the insidious middle management. Yes, insidious is not a stronger word for them.

Conformism has a potential of introducing Systemic Faults:

The imposed cultural conformism, those fraught most large organizations, is one of the main factors impeding the creative capacities from emerging within individuals. Collective conformism, a bell curve behavior, stifles individual creativity and also the individual value system, however noble it is in its virtue. Although Change is most talked about subject these days, the failures in Change are very high. Why? Because the imposed collective conformism, has promoted a collective mediocre behavior. There are numerous failed examples both in Government and in the Private sector. The burnt of the failures are borne by the innocent citizens both while funding them through their wasted tax dollars and in the end being deprived of the benefits that the failed projects intended to deliver.

Individualism, a creative streak should not be confused with the individualistic trait, which is one of the result of the self centric loathsome behavior (self grandiosement) . In contrast, Individualism, is a process of self actualization, that gets instilled in one through the process of individuation (, which is a hallmark evolutionary process for any creative individual traversing the road less travelled. Especially true for any artist as well as architects. All true artists strive, many in vain and few who succeed, to deliberate and create their dormant talent. They strive against all strife to forge together many undifferentiated skills and emerge as a holistic disciplined individual.

When people collaborate, they trade each others indivisible whole, while not compromising their own indivisible self. This proves to be an alchemy for the group as a whole. Unfortunately today by and large we have become dysfunctional by choosing conformism for that has provided quick short term returns and have become deaf to our own inner callings. Although institutions have many systemic advantages to offer (For instance, government driven health insurance has a better promise for more affordable products, by bringing down the overhead cost by a large percentage) there is a flip side to the systems – conformism. These lead to systemic faults. Classic examples are the Educational institutions, especially those pandering to corporate. These supposedly the paragons of virtues have
been rendered into factories that churn out conformists, in who genuine inquiry remains forever stifled. 

The subject of conformism is dealt in the ‘Lucifer Effect’, by Philip Zimbardo, demonstrated in the Stanford Prison Experiment.

Quote from the movie:- Which one of us (the nuts) has any guts.

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