Chapter 27 Tao, Change, & Absurdity
“A good traveler has no fixed plans
and is not intent upon arriving.
A good artist lets his intuition
lead him wherever it wants.
A good scientist has freed himself of concepts
and keeps his mind open to what is.
Thus the Master is available to all people
and doesn’t reject anyone.
He is ready to use all situations
and doesn’t waste anything.
This is called embodying the light.”
Tao Te Ching, chapter 27, Stephen Mitchell Translation
This quote offers a glimpse into the mindset of the person that doesn’t plan their life to death, but makes themselves available to the good of others.
Part of my problem with the whole concept of “Strategic Management” is that, by the time you figure out what you want to do and develop a plan to execute it, the situation has already moved on without you. I believe the world is changing more quickly than we can strategize about it. Living in your left brain is a guarantee of being left behind and I am severely guilty of it. I went to the trouble of getting an MBA in Strategic Management only to conclude that the whole concept is flawed in today’s radically fluid world.
I remember being taught “change management.” The theory is simple: 1. Show people that their current method is not working. 2. “Unfreeze” their method and show them another way. 3. Institute this other way. 4. “Refreeze” the new method.
Just by reading it, you can see its absurdity. First, changing situations may never allow you to “refreeze” the new method. And second, this is the biggie, once you unfreeze something, it might open the floodgates of other changes people want to implement. Everything is on the table now. Once one sacrosanct policy or procedure is brought into the light of questioning, all of them are. Managers cannot pick and choose only those policies they want to change. The backlog of policy absurdity is out in the open now.
The Taoist master must not waste this situation, but use it completely for everyone’s benefit.