Court Jesters: An Endangered Species

Court jesters invite people to reflect and protect the organization from hubris and inertia. But is that necessary in a crisis? Is this art or can it go away?

What we need are a few crazy people, look at what we have reached with the normal ones.

George Bernard Shaw

Exactly that still has a value in modern times that goes far beyond good entertainment. Especially in times of change organizations need this intelligent provocation and irritation. Court jesters or corporate rebels invite to reflect, rethink and think differently and protect the organization from hubris and inertia.

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Evelyn Beatrice Hall

Of course, freedom of expression is annoying. Of course, organizational rebels and court jesters are irritating. That is exactly their job. And of course it disturbs the unity. And that is a good thing. In the state as well as in the corporate world. The intellectual monoculture of conformity and consensus may be pleasant for the captain on the bridge in the short term, but in the long run it is more likely to be part of the problem than part of the solution. Right now, more than ever, diversity and dissent are urgently needed if we are not only to survive the crisis but also to enjoy the day after tomorrow in the organization.

Only after the last jester has been dismissed, the last grassroots movement has been dissolved, the last free space has been eliminated, will you realize that with obedience one cannot shape the day after tomorrow.

Agile by nature | Rebel without a pause | Working out loud | Author of

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