Cults that require revision

Good concepts tend to evolve in time as if they were living creatures.

One example to illustrate this fact is Stephen Covey’s Habits. In his 2004 book “The 8th habit…”, Covey puts it clear a number of times, that the 7 habits described in his 1989 book still work but are not decisive for one’s success if one is lacking his unique Voice, meaning, does not apply the 7 habits to one’s mission, devotion, serving the humankind. We will consider this point in-depth as applied to this book’s scope in the section dedicated to a Businesstherapist’s personality.

Ideas promoted by their rightholders and commersants like Habits enjoy the benefit of being fostered, revised and cultivated just like a garden by the King’s palace. Their adepts and users in turn enjoy the benefits of getting new food for brain and opportunities to install regular updates to their mental software. The moment of truth for this kind of concept is its author’s death of withdrawal from further research. If no one smart enough and committed enough picks up the teacher’s legacy, its chances to get outdated and counterproductive grow year by year. The history has shown plenty of good ideas that were either forgotten or perverted by the generation that followed their authors. Consider Marx’ socialist theory or Tesla’s accumulator-free electric car.

Other ideas do not belong to any certain author or community, rather exist in the cultural environment, in the collective unconscious. They have a longer life span and can endure for centuries as they have decidedly no countable points of truth. In fact, they live as long as some part of the society finds them useful. They can even evolve and get formalized by certain authors or practicioners at different given stages of their crowd-driven revision.

But how can you be sure that the idea in question is good for you just because it has not been forgotten and persists? There is a certain inertia in the collective unconscious which can keep things that are actually bad for you though look attractive as there is a social group that builds success upon them and therefore supports their positive image.

Consider the KPI concept for instance. There are businesses that only plan for KPI system introduction, while some opinion leaders have been regarding KPI as an archaism for a good decade. So who is actually right, and should a novice keep dreaming of a lean KPI system? To put it even worse, what on Earth can help diligent mercenary survive office life where agile and lean meet KPI accompanied with yoga and meditation on Fridays? One good question that can cut the way through the business bullshit jungle is: what really works for me (for us) and makes me (us) productive or destructive.

A feasible way to figure out the mess is to simply return to the start position, check out the goals and then pick up the useful tools considering obe’s own and others’ experience.

If you believe in any good cult idea, be it a Steve Jobs uttering or a step-by-step guide suggested by Napoleon Hill or a specific negotiations tactics developed in 1970-s and kindly provided by your high-school teacher, you have to revise them or any mixture of them with respect to your actual circumstances and goals. No one will ever do this for you as perfectly as yourself.

Let’s say you are searching a way to improve your productivity and get better results. What to start with? Should you change anything in the way you act? And if yes — what? Where is the bottleneck of your system?Where are those specific inconveniences that hinder your progress? Are there contradictions between different approaches you utilize? Or are you just using old junk? Or is the only reason for troubles inside your head? Consider this.

Gleb Bogatskiy

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