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UFO? WTF?

UFO? WTF?

Many people are fascinated by “UFOs” and it’s bewildering. I think there are two reasons:

  1. It’s a hobby for many, like bird watching or train watching, and they enjoy following the “leads” and stories in media and among similarly-minded people. This creates commerce: books, mementos, videos, coffee mugs—you name it. It’s harmless, much more fun than golf, and keeps people off the streets.
  2. It’s a cult for many. Mythology becomes reality, flying in the face of pragmatism. Would advanced civilizations play “hide and seek” with our little air force, or would they land on the White House lawn and demand people start behaving better? Would Sasquatch really be able to hide that well for so long? My favorite instance of the cultism around mythology is that of the Loch Ness Monster. Not only has it never been seen—and there would have to be a lot of them for breeding purposes—but the guy who produced the most vivid photo admitted on his death bed that it was a hoax, and provided the fake props he used for reporters. When I asked the chair of the Loch Ness Special Interest Group at the time—in Mensa, no less—if he would now disband, be became violent and cursed me (and my ancestry). The facts weren’t going to ruin his cult.

Organizations often have their own, cult-like, mythology: Lean; agile; the customer is always right; customer-driven; just in time; open book management; holocracy; good to great; reengineering. Our job is to point out that their beliefs are not borne out by facts. All customers are not equal and not always right. Is good to great worth the effort? JIT is killing supply chains for a lot of companies which were wedded to it.

Maybe Sasquatch exists, and he’s hiding for a hell of a good reason.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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