I was reading some George Orwell and I came across this quote:
“In our society, those who have the best knowledge of what is happening are also those who are furthest from seeing the world as it is. In general, the greater the understanding, the greater the delusion; the more intelligent, the less sane.”
These two sentences in effect perfectly sum up what is wrong with not only society, but also with large organisations.
My own experience in the world of medicine echoes this sentiment. I am always struck by how front line staff are all able to perfectly describe what is wrong with the NHS and can offer dozens and dozens of solutions to improve things, to make things more efficient and to make things better for patients.
However there are certain people (the “Inner Circle” as George Orwell calls them), who move away from actually seeing patients, see the healthcare system as a whole, see the challenges that we face socioeconomically, see the future (or think they can see the future) problems and so on. As a result, these people end up knowing nothing about what actually needs to be done.
What does this mean for people on the front line?
Well, for the first time ever, thanks to the decreasing costs of technology, it means you can choose to pick yourself and create work that actually matters. Work which is informed by actual reality.
Is it any wonder that incumbents get disrupted? They are blinded by their own size and informed ignorance.