Institutionalized Irrelevance

Oct 19th, 2002 by Tony in QSM3

Idea-generating processes such as brainstorming can be seen as “institutionalized irrelevance” – desperate measures to be used when everything rational has been tried, or sensible measures to generate idea before the situation becomes desperate. Consultants often use games to introduce a playful element into an organization that is serious desperate (otherwise it never would have called in a consultant). In some deep way, the organization realises that it must break its patterns if it is to find a way out of some apparently hopeless situation. Behaviour that might have been irrelevant in another context then becomes the most congruent thing the organization can do.

— Jerry Weinberg, Quality Software Management Vol 3, Chapter 4

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