Collective wish

I was in a meeting when someone brought up this topic. Why many projects fail? The organization has created a strong supporting infrastructure for the project to execute: there are good enabling functions,(such as Training Division, Quality, KM, HR, Networking)a host of tools (for project management, tracking etc) and proven practices and proceses. In spite of all these, many of the projects are in trouble or are sure to fail. Why?

No one had the answer (it is not expected too…)

Sitting there, something strange came to my mind. I remembered someone telling me a potential reason behind increasing number of sick people around; he said it was because of what is called a ‘collective wish’ by the doctors. Though not consciously, a doctor, deep in side is actually wishing that there are more and more sick people around, so that he can make a living. And such strong wish by many doctors together actually becomes true. That’s the power of the wish. The same holds good for many other professions. Lawyers are wishing for more crime and trouble in the society, army is wishing for more wars…etc

It is not that they make this explicit wish, but deep inside, their existence depends on this. If everyone is healthy, what will a doctor do? In a way this is also a contradiction in the mind. At two levels, one wishes for two opposite things to happen.

I think the same thing happens at work too. Most of the people or groups who are supposed to help projects execute better, deep inside also wish that the projects get in to trouble or even fail. Because they are constantly required to prove their value-addition or difference they bring on to table, and for them to do this projects need to be in trouble. Only then they can ‘turn them around’ and prove their worth. If everyone in the company follows the process perfectly, what is the need for a ‘quality team to exist’ at all?

The same can be extended to ‘why companies fail’ also? Many of the CEO’s (and the aspirants) are in fact wishing that the companies perform badly (or go bankrupt or the existence threatened); so that they can ‘turn them around’.

The converse might also be true. Probably one reason for the high rate of crime could be that there is no ‘collective wish’ for peace….


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