Ming the Mechanic:
Core Group Theory

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Core Group Theory2003-12-14 11:53
by Flemming Funch

Jon Husband talks about Art Kleiner who just wrote a book "Who Really Matters - The Core Group Theory of Power, Privilege and Success". Essentially about how most organizations exist to satisfy not all stakeholders, but a particular, much smaller, core group.
DC- What is Core Group Theory all about?

AK- Most employees, even senior executives, find their organization does not behave the way they expect it to. Certainly the organization does not do the things it espouses to do. Organizations are unpredictable. They sometimes seem frustrating. This is because we don't understand what purpose they are really trying to serve.

Organizations are actually a kind of complex living system —which move in the aggregate direction set by all the people, top to bottom, who are making decisions at their levels. Core Group Theory says that, when you put all these decisions together, the net result is that the organization exists to serve some group of “key insiders” who are prominent within it.

When you make a decision you may say to yourself, "Is this going to fit with so-and-so’s priorities?" or "I don’t want to be the one to walk into so-and-so’s office and tell him." It is the perceived interests of this core group that actually drives most decision-making.
Very interesting. I think that is correct. And I think that is a glaring problem concerning organizations, particularly corporations. There might be 10s of thousands of people there, but they really all work for a very small group of people. Which isn't necessarily the proper owners or top executives. Big corporations don't necessarily exist just to produce wealth. They exist to satisfy a particular circle of influential people. That important to know about. For one thing because I think that's somehow unfair. For another, if you're trying to make a certain organization work better, you'll have to know that it isn't going to work unless the core group goes along with the proposed direction of change. To transform an organization you'll need to transform the core group. Maybe it isn't a bad thing. Maybe we just need to become better at creating core groups. Like this.

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15 Dec 2003 @ 03:12 by ashanti : Core Groups/Elites
Absolutely spot on. Organizations currently generally manifest pecking order/hierarchy/elite tendencies. They also get side-tracked into people-politics, and lose sight of their original vision and mission. It seems to be an innate tendency when humans gather in groups of any kind. Generally. Not always. But exceptions are rare.  

15 Dec 2003 @ 03:31 by ashanti : Holographic patterns
Actually, having seen Spectragon appear in the member area, I was reminded of scared geometry and holographic patterns - the concept of a central, inner shape appears in almost all mandalas, and geometric patterns and equations - something in this? Are we simply acting out an inherent cosmic pattern?  

15 Dec 2003 @ 04:33 by ming : Cosmic Patterns
Well, maybe a functional core group is likely to have a certain type of pattern. Maybe just because it somehow is strong and stable in nature. And other looser patterns can form around the core pattern, and will be governed by it, if they don't have their own strong coherency.  

15 Dec 2003 @ 05:00 by ashanti : Splinters and Quasars
Interesting, yes. And if the looser patterns become stable, and form their own coherency that doesn't resonate with the core group they are surrounding, then they "splinter", and form a new core group. Or, they stay in the radius of the original group, and attempt to take it over, mess it up...the universal pattern seems to be breakaway and splinter, forming a new group - that seems to be the natural, healthy way of doing it - but staying and attempting to destroy or take-over what is there - that seems to result in quasars.....  

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2007-07-13 23:42: Plan vs Reality

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