Reunify the transendentals

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Truth isn’t everything. Science isn’t all there is.

Please indulge me in getting deeply philosophical for a moment. I’m not trained to do so, but something I learned a couple of years ago, I forget where, changed how I see work.

In The Enlightenment, Western cultures separated truth from beauty and goodness, science from art and ethics. This got the churches out of the way and released human potential in a way never seen before in history. It has brought unprecedented wellbeing, prosperity, democracy, and richness of life.

 

But the gap shows, and it hurts. As we move to better ways of working, we need to reintroduce wider values that just numbers. It’s time to reunite these three Transendentals. People crave self-actualisation, wholeness, integrity.

we have adopted the “scientific” approach of trying to discover patterns and laws, and have replaced all notions of human intentionality with a firm belief in causal determinism for explaining all aspects of corporate performance. In effect, we have professed that business is reducible to a kind of physics in which even if individual managers do play a role, it can safely be taken as determined by the economic, social, and psychological laws that inevitably shape peoples’ actions

Sumantra Ghoshal

 

Society is trying. We see it in ESG, Covax, environmentalism, BLM, feminism, gay rights, diversity in all its forms, a myriad different phenomena..

 

Some bellwethers at work are Humanocracy by Gary Hamel, and Brave New Work by Aaron Dignan.

 

I’m banging up against this on social media, where those arguing against progress come from a soulless perspective of hard business, command-control, heartless rationalism. We cannot go forward with only one leg. We need to reunite truth, beauty, and goodness.

I wrote about it here, with numerous links and a video of me raving on a remote beach.