A World Without Wisdom

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lA-zdh_bQBo I’ve been watching talks from TED for years. If you are unfamiliar with TED, get familiar with it. You’ll see some of the best and the brightest share their passions, commitments, and insights from life. Almost without exception, I come away from each talk with a broadened perspective, being more hopeful for the future, and with something to do or change in my life.

Last night I watched Barry Schwartz’s talk from TED 2009 about the need for practical wisdom.

Have we stopped being wise?

Barry argued persuasively that our reliance on rules and incentives dumbs us down and strips morality from our behavior. Because of the over abundance of rules we no longer need to think — the structure does that for us — and with incentives for just about everything, we no longer need to be virtuous — instead, we just follow the money.

A return to practical wisdom

Barry plead for a return to practical wisdom to know how and when to improvise and break the rules. And a return to virtue to use this improvisation for the right purposes.

So often in business we rely exclusively on processes and incentives to create alignment, share information, make decisions, etc. What would happen if we spent as much time developing wisdom, integrity, and morality in our organizations as we do procedures and comp plans?

Think about the possibilities while you watch Barry’s 20 minute talk.

PrinciplesBrett Pinegar