Silent collusions, groupthink and unbridled power

The word ‘collusion’ has its roots in Latin. The Latin prefix col-, meaning “together,” and the verb ludere, “to play,” come together to form collude. The related noun collude has the specific meaning “secret agreement or cooperation.” (Mirriam Webster dictionary). The Collins dictionary defines collusion as “to act together through a secret understanding, esp. with evil or harmful intent”.

On the face of it, it seems clear that there would need to be a conversation of sorts to reach an agreement to cooperate. The question that is plaguing me however is whether the need for a verbal conversation or written agreement is necessary to enter a collusion. Could you have two or more players playing together without any meeting, secret or not, and without a verbal or written agreement to cooperate?

Encouraging empathy in your organisation

The Covid-19 pandemic and related lockdowns around the globe has put a spotlight on the need for empathy. Many have been able to display great empathy, while others have been struggling. I suspect that those organisations that have typically been bottom line driven, would have found it a lot more difficult to deal with the levels of empathy required in dealing with employees who suddenly had to go into a mini diaspora, while dealing with the inevitable bereavement that accompanied the virus as it wreaked havoc.

Balance strength with flexibility

I have noticed an increase in conversations around agility across various professions. This is a natural consequence of the increase in volatility, turbulence, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity in the environments organisations are forced to operate in. The upheaval caused by the pandemic has shown us all just how important agility is. Most organisations have found that they needed to adapt faster than they had ever imagined possible and some hard lessons were learnt in the process.
I have however begun to wonder whether we are not going to fall prey to overemphasising one organisational competence at the expense of other important components.

Be honest about where you are

The result of having to lead uphill, is that many of us tend to set our own needs aside and focus on what must be done. We must soldier on, a noble quest. Fighting for survival in an upside-down world. If not us, then who? In the process we tend to miss the signs that tell us that we are in trouble, at risk of running our own immune systems into the ground. And, in turn, increasing the chances that we are becoming walking risks ourselves. You are no good to the organisation when you are no longer your healthy self.

Is your judgement impaired?

Recently the Chief Justice of South Africa made a statement that had many up in arms. Some even calling for his head to roll. In a webinar he quoted Ps 122:6 and Gen 12: 1-3 from the bible and stated that Christians are obliged by the scriptures to love Israel. He stated that Christians, and as a nation, we cannot do anything but to love and pray for Israel as hatred for Israel will attract unprecedented curses on our nation.

Enablers of abuse of power – the ones we don’t talk about

At the time of writing this, most of the world has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and it feels like the world is upside down. In the middle of the crisis we have also seen protests around the world against racism at a scale we have not seen before. Many companies have been forced to rethink their contribution to the problem and inherent racism in their practices and even naming of their products.

Who looks after our leaders?

Covid-19 has sent shockwaves through the globe and is testing our state of readiness for something we should have seen coming.

What guides your moral compass

Most professionals when confronted with the question of personal ethics or values are quick to say that they are clear about what ethics is and what their values are.