Re: Handling Power & Politics LO1907

Michael McMaster (
Sat, 1 Jul 1995 22:10:11 +0000

Replying to LO1870 --

Great question "Who decides?" from the perspective of who *does*
decide and who *should* decide. This dialogue around it will go
badly wrong if we then begin to explore which individuals decide -
escpecially at the *should* end of the inquiry.

If I can consider that I am a sort of node in a network of
conversations (an idea proposed by me earlier and someone else
recently) then I can consider an organisation to be the same sort of
phenomenon. And I do consider it that way.

Then who decides is those people who are engaged in the (many)
conversations that consitute the answer. It certainly isn't a single
person or even a small group of powerful people. Ask John Akers.

Who does decide are those who engage in the appropriate
conversations. This is aso the pragmatic response to who *should*
decide. That is, the system works this way.

What is apparent and must be taken into account is that you, I, those
without power cannot individually decide. We will gain power and
effectiveness when we realise that the way things work is through
processes and organisation and not through individual or even small
group control. If we give up the idea that anyone has the say, then
we can become more effective in influencing what occurs. (And less
victims of the way we think it is.)

As someone once said, "The truth will set you free. But first it
will piss you off."

Michael McMaster