Saturday, June 25, 2022

Reform is a Myth

Because personnel is policy, to reform an institution you have to kill everyone in it. Or at least fire them. 

Imagine you had an apple tree and you want a pear tree instead. Imagine you try to make the apple tree into a pear tree by lopping off every branch and grafting pear branches there.

Yeah, don't do that. Plant a pear sapling. Same result in half the time - oh that's assuming the grafts would hold, and they wouldn't.

Employees become acculturated to the firm they work for. If you want them to work for a different firm, you're fucked. In most cases you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. You merely code as outgroup to them. All you can do is move them and make the old firm over again.

It's a waste of time. If you want a different tree you need to plant the seed of a different tree. 

I think most reformers know this. Reform is Last Psychiatry. Defence against reform. Changing your carrier is annoying and makes your neighbours look at you askance; reform is an excuse to shirk your responsibilities. "This ship is going down, but those lifeboats look like they'll be awfully crowded. These deck chairs are nice and comfy." 

Okay bud. 

Most cannot be helped. At some point you have to treat them like they enjoy drowning.

If you're very lucky the skills the old dogs have would be non-defective when applied to a different field. Someone whose skill set is basically [be a bully]? No problem: I have lots of reformers who deserve a good bullying. 

If you're not very lucky, then the old dogs either have to be pensioned off - regardless of their legal age - or simply allowed to fail. (Shocking news: businesses are supposed to go out of business sometimes.)


sykes.1 said...

Existing employees usually have significant inputs on new hires. This is especially true in large bureaucratic institutions like universities. The result is that the new hires are already like the older the day they show up: like hires like.

Back in the 70’s The Ohio State University had a bias towards undergraduate teaching.. (So did Michigan State.) But the rest of the Big Ten were graduate student/research oriented, and more highly ranked than tOSU. This really rankled the Board of Trustees, so they engaged on a 30 year campaign to purge the faculty of teachers and replace them with researchers. They stayed the course, and now tOSU is a research university. But it took a generation and a complete faculty turnover.

Alrenous said...

Top-down conquest, using purges, is not a myth.