The foreword to A Passion for Excellence, written by Tom Peters and Nancy Austin and published in 1985, remarks that few people who buy management books actually read them. They said the ratio of people who really dig into such books as theirs is “dispiritingly low.” We have not learned much in the last 30 years.
This is key to understanding why so many organizations flaunt their mediocrity. The United States as a whole is moving in this direction.
This blog is an element in my search for people who buy a book on excellence and actually read it. Maybe they underline passages in it. Maybe the dust jacket wears out from being handled so much.
One of my favorite books is a college text titled The Organizational Behavior Reader. Few managers, and probably even fewer executives, are attuned to the concept of organizational behavior. There are rules in place, and they expect people to behave accordingly. Enough said. The fact is that organizations are a collection of systems that influence and depend on each other. The way they are structured, and the way they are treated, make a tremendous difference to the level of excellence achievable by the whole enterprise.
My main fear for our nation is that mediocrity is widely accepted, and even justified. I have more than 500 posts on this blog, and I have not generated any conflict that I know of.