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Saturday, September 10, 2005

Unmasking Appearence Over Performance - Taking Action

Dan Blohowiak writing at BNet's Leadership. Now. blog has this good posting.
"Much better to look good than feel good, dahlink," joked comedian Billy Crystal in his old Saturday Night Live character Fernando.

There’s a strange twist on that strange maxim that has grabbed the psyche of too many large, self-important institutions: Much better to look good than do good.

Appearance over substance has become a high art form in the marketing-dominated West. The adage, "Perception is reality," too strongly guides the thinking of too many top managers (who repeat that over-worn phrase ad nauseum).

And so, not surprisingly, perception management becomes the priority of the highest magnitude. Even in places no responsible person would dream of prioritizing perception over performance.

Perception reality becomes exposed when the emperor really has no clothes. Dan goes on to highlight this case with the recent events (and mismanagement of them) by the government agency chartered with disaster response, FEMA. Political appointments have been exposed once again. Maybe this time we can do something about this to save lives and headache in the future.

We need to heed people like Ronni Bennett at Time Goes By. Her series "We interrupt this blog" has been good writing on the events in New Orleans. In particular, Part 2, she calls for

" ... today I have a suggestion for the coming months and years: ignore this secretive, imperial White House; it is beyond redemption. Concentrate instead on our three Congressional representatives. We can each demand of them the following – and any other items you would like to add – as long as we are reasonable. These are reasonable:
  • Reject any appointee to any agency who is not fully qualified for the job. End patronage appointments.
  • Reject any bill that further enriches the individually wealthy or corporations over the middle and working classes. Reject the upcoming bill for the elimination of the “death tax”. Roll back the previous tax cuts for the rich.

  • Never again insert even one piece of pork into future appropriations bills.

  • Join the rest of the world now in addressing global warming.

  • Create universal health coverage and enact it before the 2008 general election.

  • Reject privatization of Social Security.

  • Immediately establish an independent election monitoring agency which answers to no one but the public.

  • Enact now an election reform bill – without loopholes – that gets corporate and special interest money out of elections and returns the process to the people.

  • Figure out now how to extract our soldiers from Iraq while arranging to rebuild the infrastructure which the U.S. has wantonly destroyed.

  • Tell your two senators and representatives that unless they do these things, you will vote next time (that’s 2006) and the next and the next for the other guy, whoever he or she is. Tell them you will be monitoring their every move in Congress - and then do it."
It is now our choice to take action or sit by and await another disaster.

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