Thursday, August 25, 2011

Marching on the edge of the parade

© VDS Brink
These only things only happen in small towns on the edge of the desert. Typically on a Saturday evening, 25 minutes before midnight just after the bars close. This was not different. In the only dilapidated bar in town were only people. A sleepy barman, old Fred and his lifelong friend, Jack …. Jack Daniels…
Fred is no youngster anymore and his age is clearly shown on the biceps with, now faded over the past 40 years, in blue green 87pt Times Roman, Italics and bold: ELVIS.
The barman finally convinced our friend Fred to leave. Fred with Jack in his left hand unwillingly steps on the pavement of the poorly lit town square where weeds grew ankle deep.
Then it happened…right their in front of his very eyes..a real Flying Saucer,  a UFO, an Unidentified Flying Object slowly and soundlessly descended to make a perfect landing on the town square.
Fred was petrified. Everything in his muddled mind screamed at him to run for safety, but he stood anchored like a pillar.
Slowly, very slowly, a huge trap door opened silently with an eerily light shining from deep inside.
It appeared; Some creature, emerald green and stark naked slithered down the ramp. Well for those that do not know, Mars is one of only four places in the universe still using the imperial system. In the good company of the US of A, Burma and Liberia this green slimy character measures at 4 feet and 7 inches weighing in at 42 pounds and 6 ounces.
It slid up to the fearsome Fred, looked him straight in his Whiskey befuddled eyes and said in a metallic voice “..Take me to your Leader !”
Some days I feel like this green monster from Mars, lost bewildered and screaming for leadership.
We live in difficult times yet lessons are always to be found in history. When George Orwell published “Animal Farm” and gave us the wonderful words “We are all equal out here, yet some are more equal than others..” and his brilliant book, “1984”, Winston Smith fell in love with Julia. As everybody was watched by Big Brother, Winston was arrested and convicted for committing Thought Crime. His freedom is finally stripped when he accepts the axiom that 2+2 =5.
We know now that everything is true from Orwell’s book, the only mistake was the title as Google and Facebook were not invented yet in ’84. Perhaps his title should have been “2009” ?
Big Brother appears in many disguises, mostly innocent. He shapes our lives through ever mounting rules, regulations and compliances. We have a new company law, a new King report, our education is regulated by SAQA. Ombudsmen are found for about everything with regulatory bodies peeping over our shoulders. Loan sharks eyeing the few things we still things we possess and masquerades as Authorized Financial Services Providers! Political correctness is everywhere yet doing little to move our creativity into the sky.
Zillions of trees are chopped to produce umpteen reams of paper neatly filled with double spaced rhetoric on how it will work from now on.
What does it all mean for creativity? As long back as 1926 James McKinsey stupidly stated “Everything that can be measured and what can be measured can be managed”. Ignoring the human spirit do to new things and to shape a new world. Business and our success are above all about emotion, passion, greed, fear, ambition, determination and courage. Creativity is none different.
South Africa is a country of poets, painters, song writers, giraffe wood carvers, rhinoceros molding iron mongers, basket weavers and home made preservative cookers. A country filled with creative people finding happiness by crafting in the middle of the night.
If some of it could just find its way back to the workplace where we need it.
Perhaps some of the answers lie to think like a soldier in a regiment marching in a parade. Marching outside or against the parade will only harm the proceedings and make the Sergeant Major angry.
The Sergeant Majors are watching our every move, every step we take. Yet do not despair, he can be beaten. Let us become criminals and commit Thought Crime everyday of our lives. Keep on believing that 2+2 actually still  = 4 !
We can be inside the parade, yet always on the edge of it, we will then make a difference in how organizations think and do and keep on changing this world for the better.

VDS Brink was bruised many times outside the parades
 and wasted valuable time being in the middle of it. Insight for this article was found from
George Orwell’s work, J Geldenhuys’s “South Africa is Fantastik” and John Naisbitt’s “Mindset”. 
Fred and the Martian a figment of his imagination.
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