I don’t know when it started. I was immersed into the sea of data and, at some point, I started breathing the fresh air of theory. It felt good, there were so different smells and tastes. But that wasn’t enough. I had to give up swimming in the information sea to start walking into the knowledge land. The first steps were hard, but I got used to it. It was through understanding that I had the first glimpses of the wisdom peaks, still too afar for me to reach.
This morning, before driving to work, I stopped for a coffee at the usual place. A couple of project managers were sitting next to me. They develop information systems for a company. But today they were not alone. They were sitting with a couple more managers that I hadn’t seen before. And I overheard in amusement how people with different objectives were trying to convince each other. Execution versus selling. Trying to understand each other but at the same time deeply divided and with conflicting incentives. Unsurprisingly they didn’t reach any consensus but they simply got louder and louder. They didn’t really listen to each other, they didn’t really want to change anything, to redesign anything. They only wanted to win. Meanwhile a lot of HRM practices were popping in my head.
But it was getting late, and that wasn’t my business (I suspect I wouldn’t have been welcomed into that conversation) so I didn’t witness the end of the quarrel. Instead, while I was driving to the airport, I saw a lot of new signs: the speed will soon be limited to 80km/h in Barcelona’s metropolitan area. A new practice to worship the god of sustainability. In the meantime we light hundred of thousands of lights for Christmas and we consume the more the better. No warnings about don’t spend on what you don’t need, or try not to heat your home too much along the road. I guess the system needs that conspicuous consumption in order for it to work. Thornstein Veblen would be happy to see us Spaniards so enlightened. Isn’t coherency one of the values that we think about most -almost in every field- in the MBA?
While I’m writing this in my hackintosh I’m also thinking of Microsoft’s monopoly and Apple’s scarcity rent. Now that PCs and Macs have almost identical hardware, why can’t I choose to install whichever operating system I like into my PC? Why can’t I be a registered and licensed Mac OS X user and buy my hardware from Dell? Another imperfection of the market that reminds me that, in January, we’ll be starting a new module and I’ll still be livin’ in the MBA.