“…self deception, the root of all evil” – Lazarus Long
Does this idea apply to organizations as well as individuals?
An individual can do any number of things while deluding himself as to his motives. This can be very destructive to the individual, but the damage is usually limited to that person. In extreme cases many lives may be affected. This type of self-delusional behavior, when indulged in by an organization, can be far more destructive.
Obvious examples of an organizations self-delusions include the proficiency of a company at their core capabilities (i.e. ability to deliver software well), their ability to manage and comply with internal processes, their ability to provide services both internally and externally (although providing services externally usually involves a much more effective, and not so easily ignored/disillusioned set of feed back i.e. your customers stop paying you), their ability to adapt to changing market conditions etc.
An individual can seek therapy for their self-delusions, and perhaps learn to be more truthful with their self. What kind of therapy exists for an entire organization that indulges in this kind of behavior?
Over the coming weeks I will explore particular types of this deception, the manifestations of, and consequences to, this type of behavior (both short and long term) for an organization and what organizations of all sizes can do to eliminate this destructive thinking and improve their performance.