Archive for the ‘Paradox’ Category

Paradox: Embracing Decentralization while Hailing the CEO as Corporate Savior

December 31, 2007

Some companies claim to embrace decentralization and bottom-up mechanisms and yet they then turn around and treat their CEO as superheroes and as the “corporate savior.”

CEOs are given massive salaries and are hyped as the one person who will lead the company to prosperity.

The problem is that people actually believe the hype, taking it on faith that putting the right individual at the top is the key to corporate success.

What’s perplexing about this faith is how little evidence there is that a single individual can consistently make superior forecasts or strategic decisions in the face of a genuine uncertainty.

If companies were to truly embrace the virtues of decentralization then the CEO would have a much smaller role (and paid much less) and there would be more emphasis on collective decision-making.

— Extracted from The Wisdom of Crowds by James Suroweicki

The Scientist’s Paradox

September 13, 2007

Scientists collaborate to increase their productivity.

Scientists compete for recognition.

While scientists are competing for recognition, that recognition comes from the very people they are competing against!

So science presents us with the curious paradox of an enterprise that is simultaneously competitive and cooperative.

— Extracted from The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki