Minimizing risks vs maximizing recoverability

These quotes illustrate the point of my former post.

“Each individual, in his place, is securely confined to a cell from which he is seen from the front by the supervisor; but the side walls prevent him from coming into contact with his companions. He is seen, but he does not see; he is the object of information, never a subject in communication. The arrangement of his room, opposite the central tower, imposes on him an axial visibility; but the divisions of the ring, those separated cells, imply a lateral invisibility. And this invisibility is a guarantee of order. If the inmates are convicts, there is no danger of a plot, an attempt at collective escape, the planning of new crimes for the future, bad reciprocal influences; if they are patients, there is no danger of contagion; if they are madmen there is no risk of their committing violence upon one another; if they are schoolchildren, there is no copying, no noise, no chatter, no waste of time; if they are workers, there are no disorders, no theft, no coalitions, none of those distractions that slow down the rate of work, make it less perfect or cause accidents.”

Michel Foucault quoting Bentham when speaking about the advantages of a panopticon.

Sounds like the perfect way to get hold of life and to minimize risks.

Now here’s another view on life:

“To act in this fashion, we as executives have to resist our natural tendency to avoid or minimize risks, which, of course, is much easier said than done… If you want to be original, you have to accept the uncertainty, even when it’s uncomfortable, and have the capability to recover when your organization takes a big risk and fails. What’s the key to being able to recover? Talented people!”

Ed Catmull, president of Pixar Animation Studios in a Harvard Business Review-article on how to build sustainable creative organisations.

Whose strategy will be more effective in the long run?

Here’s a hint. You can’t manage life, but you can manage your skills and your knowledge.

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