You Are A Creator, Not A Robot
Hop off the treadmill of results. Find joy again in the unbounded act of creation.
“Management by results - like driving a car by looking in rear view mirror.” — W. Edwards Deming
Modern management is obsessed with results.
The same is true of schools. From the dawn of grade school to the setting sun of university, we are molded in the image of little robots and programmed to operate at the highest efficiency. Memorization trumps learning. Intrinsic motivation is utterly destroyed by extrinsic reward.
To Hell with autonomy, purpose and joy! The almighty bottom line reigns supreme. The late Dr. Edwards Deming speaks to us of this tragedy in Peter Senge’s introduction to The Fifth Discipline.
“Our prevailing system of management has destroyed our people.”
People who find joy in their work tend to innovate, but joy is not the primary motivation of traditional management systems. They tend to see numbers and not humanity.
“People are born with intrinsic motivation, self-respect, dignity, curiosity to learn, joy in learning.”
There isn’t a single person ever born who did not carry the spark of creation. It is the beating heart of humanity. To create is to experience joy.
“The forces of destruction begin with toddlers—a prize for the best Halloween costume, grades in school, gold stars—and on up through the university.”
We are dehumanized from an early age. Creation still exists, but it must conform to expected social norms. We are lured with extrinsic rewards... shiny objects that crowd out the intrinsic reward of unbounded creativity.
“On the job, people, teams, and divisions are ranked, reward for the top, punishment for the bottom.”
The thirst for results is reinforced by the structure and hierarchy of both corporate and government institutions. Rewards target bigger numbers and percentages each fiscal quarter and year. In their wake lies untold human wreckage.
“Management by Objectives, quotas, incentive pay, business plans, put together separately, division by division, cause further loss, unknown and unknowable.”
The numbers of the past drive numbers of the future. Little attention is paid to creative diversions. And if such creative outliers produce innovations, they are consumed by the Borg-like collective as shining examples of management prowess.
Wander the barren, fluorescent landscape of corporate buildings long enough, and one wonders at the inhuman, arbitrary nature of it all. It is no small wonder we have achieved anything of significance.
I have grown weary of the never-ending treadmill of results. I long to learn and create for the joy of it. I feel it calling to me, stronger and more frantic as my life nears its twilight.
I am not a robot.
I am a human being.
And I was born to create.
🤔 Food for Thought:
Are you hesitant to create publicly?
How much of this hesitation was imposed on you by modern institutions?
Will you break free and rediscover your spark of creativity?
⚙️ One Small Step:
Not every act of creation must be aligned with a career or money-making opportunity. Always leave room for unbounded creation. Let your curiosity and interests guide you. Joy is your reward.