The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Impossible demands

In Germany, a group calling themselves ‘Letze Generation’ (last generation) used the tactic of gluing themselves to the road in places where they would get attention. As climate activists, they wanted to raise awareness for a worthy cause. But, their tactic generated a lot of anger and rejection and membership growth.

The actions they entertained were supposed to serve the demands expressed by the group.

However, in parts, the demands are vague and consist of asking the government to do something to stop climate change. And in other cases, the demands are such that they cannot succeed in the given democratic system. None of the political parties can follow these demands while staying aligned with their promises.

It is a situation in which all the actors find themselves stuck. They are trapped in demands that cannot be fulfilled. This is reinforced by a situation in which the government represents the population and acts on its behalf whereas the last generation is a group of self-elected activists.

In organizations, such situations will be less visible, but they also occur. In general, in the long term, the result will be that those who are perceived as disturbing elements in the system will find themselves ejected by the system.

However, it will take a lot of time whenever the demands are based on what is perceived as an important cause. For most leaders, this is a situation that becomes a challenge. Either, because of the moral implication of the demands, or when these people are seen as important for the organization. It’s a situation that is experienced as a deadlock. One that leads to a habit of searching for ways to please these people. And, one where everyone involved steps into an avoidance mode in the hope of preventing the demands from becoming a problem.

It’s a trap.

People will find themselves to be together with an elephant. The purpose of having an elephant in the room is to keep people busy with other conversations.



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