Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A bit more on HR.

Don't get me wrong, some people in HR are nice. I enjoy their company. But the nature of HR is to promote a certain amiability and gentleness. And creativity, most often, does not come from such circumstances. Therefore, as HR grows increasingly powerful in agencies (because law-suits become increasingly more expensive) more and more agencies and people are put through the blanderizer.

To cite George Bernard Shaw again, "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world around him. The unreasonable man attempts to adapt the world to him. Such is the source of all progress and creativity." For clarity's sake, I'll toss in a little Henry Ford, "If I asked people what they wanted, they would have said 'a faster horse.'" By that I mean, conforming, listening, catering to, adapting to prevailing wisdom is stultifying. That's the culture most agencies seem bent on creating.

I am not advocating mean-ness. But I am advocating tolerance of those on the far right of the bell-curve. The ones who might not pass Rorshach tests or who might pose a question like, "what's the difference between a duck?" Not logical. Not answerable.
Not anything but provocative. And in creative organizations, provocation as in--you're provoking me--is what is often needed. Otherwise you're fastening bolts and doing the prescribed, which is a prescription for sameness and mediocrity.

Finally, please permit me a rant that I'm aiming at the newspeak that infects agencies often through the offices of HR. "People of color." Fuck you. I have a color. I am not pale or transparent like the visible man models we had as kids. I have color. I am colorful and I don't like being segregated as one of those un-colored. And then there is the word "Diversity." I always took diversity to mean a mixture of different people. Now it is code for black, hispanic, asian or something else. "We're looking for diverse candidates" means we are looking for people who are not white. That means white people are all the same? That is racism of the lowest and most offensive order.

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