Having is the philosophy of acquiring things - Being on the other hand is based on the quality of the experiences we have rather than the things we acquire.by Eric Fromm
Let's keep things really simple. You are surely tired of endless pandemic prose sans action?
So, to call a spade a spade. Individuals such as scientists, engineers, artists, philosophers and entrepreneurs can be super smart but homo sapiens as a specie is clearly as thick as two short planks. You can forget about the silly myth of the wisdom of crowds.
What we need urgently is a Government Intelligence Index. And here is why.
There are currently 1,7 million known viruses that can jump from animals to humans. We know this.
We have known about this threat for at least 100 years. Even Nicolas Taleb has said that Covid19 is not a black swan.
For decades we could have set up a global digital network covering 196 countries, fully connected in real time, with a standard protocol for dealing with any outbreaks.
For example the moment someone noticed the possibility of a viral outbreak in Wuhan, the world should have been informed, the area isolated immediately and there would have been no pandemic. This is as obvious as brushing your teeth. We know this.
The World Economic Forum has just released its Energy Transition Report, including its ETI (Energy Transition Index) showing how governments have moved their energy strategies from coal and oil to renewables from 2015 to 2020. WEF, Energy Transition Index
Just over 10% of countries managed a reasonable shift over this period. 90% Made little or no effort and failed. By country and population size fully 97% achieved no significant shift over the five year period. We know full well the extent to which we are destroying habitat, wildlife and the oceans on a daily basis. Not even the most rabid one-eyed raptors and armageddonists would deny this. Not very bright.
In addition we know that habitat destruction increases the risk of viral transfer from wild animals to humans. We know this too.
Of course the list could go on, but the point is made. For whatever evolutionary reason homo sapiens seems to be imbued with a self inflicted self-destruct switch.
The question is a simple one. Why? Perhaps we should turn to a philosopher for an answer.
ERIC FROMM MAY BE ONTO SOMETHING
For over two millennia from the days of Pythagoras to relatively modern times the term philosophy covered critical thinking in every aspect of human activity from science, physics and religion to medicine, astronomy, language and values. Isaac Newton's book Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy published in 1687 was only later classified as a physics book.
But today the act of philosophical thinking and action appears to have taken a back seat in our modern lives. Perhaps it is time to reconsider. For example shouldn't every organisation have a guiding and meaningful philosophy about life and business rather than the usual one-dimensional little box of visions, missions and strategic goals?
Erich Fromm, well known German philosopher (died 1980) may throw some light on this.
His general focus was on the important philosophical question of Having versus Being, where each reflects a different purpose to life. Having is the philosophy of acquiring things - the more we acquire the more we are able to pursue the having meaning of life.
Being on the other hand is based on the quality of the experiences we have rather than the things we acquire. Being as a philosophy is driven more by concepts such as wisdom, truth and natural beauty, often much maligned or ignored in the having philosophy.
IF YOU ARE A CEO HERE ARE THREE THINGS YOU CAN DO
Start talking to your colleagues about the new post Covid19 organisation you want to become. Create a journey, a pathway you can build together, based on a fresh new philosophy that has a deeper meaning for everyone.
Imagine each of your customers asks you "What is your company doing for the environment?" What would you answer? Do you even have an answer?
And then explore fresh new business opportunities as the new world emerges.
And most importantly, involve everyone.
Note. Apparently the US army requires a minimum IQ of 83.