Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ethical Pragmatism

I guess it's time to get the mind working, good morning all.

First of all I need to thank the wonderful folks at AITP (nee DPMA). I did a Keynote address the other night. The discussion was delightful. The pre-dinn,er address Roberta Gamza got the minds going and was great. While the crowd was small - the level of discussion was high. I'd like to thank the chapter president - Randall Storm. Randy is an old and dear friend.

I was asked,?"What do I do?" I've been thinking about that and I finally had the nerve to say it out loud. I am a Management Philosopher. I do hope that doesn't sound too pompous.

Most of us look at the industry and ask how. How did we get here? How did we wind up in the situation that we are in. How do we fix it. I think that how is the wrong question. We need to ask Why. By asking "Why" we can deduce the problem. Once the problem is identified then a valid solution.

I have been asked frequently asked what my next book will be.  I am starting to work on, Management, American Style - the Macro Version. In other words a top down look at the American Industrial system. A Meta-Management book so to speak. I will be using this blog to experiment with is and get the words down. So without further ado...

Pragmatism - we are a pragmatic people. We concentrate on "What works." as a nation we have quite thoroughly dropped the "Well it has always worked before" approach to management.  When working for Perot our working phrase was - whatever it takes to get the job done. This phrase takes its roots  in Niccolo Machiavelli's book "The Prince." It implies that the morality of an action is justified by the results. 

Ethical - Ethical actions pertain  to or deal with the morals or principles of morality. An action is itself either moral or immoral. 

We are then forced to look at Pragmatism and Ethics. How do they relate? I coined the phrase Ethical Pragmatism to answer that question.  I define the phrase, briefly, as "Doing what works, mindful of our obligation to society." Ok, that phrase leads to asking many question. read this blog, dear reader. Ask any questions you might have - I thrive on having people disagree with me. Hopefully by discussing points we both learn.


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