"You are Your Position" LO5888

Eric Opp (eopp@mrj.com)
Wed, 28 Feb 1996 11:52:16 -0500 (EST)

I was reading through the description of the Beer Game in Peter Senge's
Book, "The Fifth Discipline," again. One of the reasons that the "Beer
Game" causes such a disaster is that most participants play the game with
the philosophy of "I am my position" and the reason that the "system is
going awry" is the "misbehavior" of all the other members of the system.
Each member of the system is unable or unwilling to look at the greater
whole (the system) and tailor his or her behavior to the global effects on
the system.

I have noticed in the United States, in particular after having been in
Europe for an extended period of time, that many businesses work on the
philosophy of "You are your Position" or "You are your Resume." I have
come up against strong resistance in a number of directions concerning my
career advancement through the philosophy of "You are your Resume." For
example, I have invested considerable time and effort in leadership
development and communications skills development, but I keep running into
"You have a Ph.D. in Physics, therefore you belong in a position of doing
scientific analysis. Forget marketing or management...." Read between the
lines: "You are inept at these other skills (marketing management etc.),
because technical people are in general inept at these skills." I.E. "You
are your Resume."

I thought I would throw this out as a new item for discussion. Any
thoughts, ideas on overcoming this, or further insights?


Eric N. Opp MRJ Inc. eopp@mrj.com

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>