Batuhan: Lord of the Flies

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By Allan S. B. Batuhan

Foreign Exchange

Friday, April 25, 2014


SOME of our readers will be familiar with “The Lord of the Flies.” After all, the 1954 dystopian novel by Nobel Prize-winning English author William Golding is compulsory reading in many literature courses, and has also been made into a movie of the same title.

“Lord of the Flies opens with a plane full of British schoolboys crashing on a deserted tropical island. With no adults surviving the crash, the boys are left to themselves to try to stay alive. Immediately a sort of informal society springs up with the election of a leader and the setting down of formal objectives and rules.

Initially, rescue is foremost on the collective mind, but it is not long before a power struggle ensues with Jack attempting to sway the boys to his camp. Possessing different goals and vastly different sets of ethics, the boys divide into two tribes.

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Eventually, Ralph’s side of reason and rationality gives way to Jack’s tribe of hunters, and the boys sink deeper and deeper into a life of violent savagery.” (Grace Fleming, About.Com)

A lot of what happens in organizations today reminds me about the story.

Organizations are normally well-ordered organisms. As management literature would have you believe, they have a singular vision of what they want to become. This united vision translates itself into a mission, which articulates how it wants to get there; and, a strategy which lays out the plan in even greater detail. So far so good? With a map so well laid-out, who could get lost along the way, right?

The unfortunate reality is that organizations are not always the well-navigated sailing vessels we envision them to be.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 26, 2014.

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