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Stage-1: The Practical Foundation

The Art of the Possible

Most organizations are about doing things, so they have a natural affinity with the pragmatic spirit.

The PRAGMATIC Mode is the only mode that can exist self-sufficiently within an organization as a culture in its own right—all the others are too disconnected from results or too focused on abstractions.

A positive pragmatic culture is the bed-rock on which all management development must build.  Academics take note: while a pragmatic culture may not be all good, it is certainly not all bad.

Imagine an organization…Closed meandering along without much drive and coming under threat from market changes (in a business) or political pressures (in a public service). Let's assume it operates in a somewhat chaotic incremental fashion, which seems to suit most of those working there.

Stage-1 in the evolutionary schema is to move a weak unattended pragmatic culture into a more positive and vitalized form: put a bomb under it! as the saying goes. It may take some weeks or months for the message to sink in that things are going to be different from now on. Here are the values that must be installed.

Pragmatic Values & Principles

In handling the situation:

In handling the group:

In handling yourself:

Installing Pragmatic Values

A culture of positive pragmatism must be deliberately fostered and its degeneration actively resisted. Pragmatic values are so inherently sensible and necessary. Introducing such values should itself be pragmatic. Just do it!

► Put some life into things.
► Sort any urgent crises and get some early successes.
► Fill key jobs with people who have worked well with you in the past.
► Send in paid troubleshooters to sort really tricky problems.

A positive pragmatic approach is essential, but is it enough? Can it stay strong? Is it possible for common-sense, for example, to handle anything and everything?

You know the answer already. Pragmatism is wonderful, but taken too far it degenerates—and, like any good thing, it is usually taken too far.

Read the gruesome details of degenerate pragmatism: they are the rationale for undertaking a major overhaul of the organization.

Originally posted: 17-Jun-2011

All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
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