Idea and Reality

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“If you do not know where you are, it is rather difficult to find your way around. So play landmarks and ‘lieux de mémoire’ an important role in our lives.” Frans van der Reep sees businesses and citizens change their attitude towards ideology and reality.

“To see what’s in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle”. George Orwell

There’s a lot going on in (South) Europe. Crisis, massive (youth) unemployment, looming deflation, hunger and suicides for these reasons. At the same time there is a change in business logic and seem ‘mental models’ to change. Then the question arises how decision makers look at the world. We base politics and government still really reality or ideology, our own understanding of that reality.

To avoid ideological action is needed of what we see. Understanding This concept is, as I see it, the major challenge for the next decade.

We need to understand what we see. Mental and physical reference If too many changes too fast and that reference missing, replace ideology increasingly the reality as the basis for our decisions.

Physical and mental points of constancy

We need physical reference points, such as signs or tomtom to find our way to the airport, for example, or in the hospital. We always need to know where we are. Clues Why? If you do not know where you are, it is rather difficult to find your way. So play landmarks and ‘lieux de mémoire’ an important role in our lives.

We have physical reference points as the ‘m’ or ‘foot’ need to communicate. To measure distance and also to ‘feel’ away and the results of such measurements So we need. Emotional and mental reference If you see someone laugh, it should be that the other has fun and enjoy the situation. A safe conclusion for you

As our reference currency (euro), we need to pay our bills. This coin allows you to have. A ‘feeling’ of value The move to the euro may have had economic benefits, but also caused problems because people their reference point to the ‘sense of value’ saw change. Some of us have needed many years to get used to. To this new ‘Euro-reference point’

Ritual and cognition

‘Culture’ is also a set of reference points are understood: how we behave, the way we define a social situation, good and bad, beautiful or ugly. Reference to formal or non-formal internal programs (also known as “cognitions” or “frames”) and may take the form of rituals. Take for example the ritual that you discuss any business with others during the holidays, or if you do not start with the discussion of a particular topic for your first cup of coffee.

There are plenty of reference in social life. For example, things like your education, membership in Rotary-like clubs, concerts you will / will not visit or the newspaper you choose to read, can be understood as a social code, as a set of social reference points to which the other your social position can read.

We can not do without. My feeling is, even though I’m not an anthropologist, that this reference should not change too often. Such a change of the reference point or the rituals mentioned is really confusing and it takes time to get used to. To the new reference

That, for example, why the avant-garde artists often have difficulty selling their art: they do not sell art. What they sell is, in fact, a worldview, albeit on the basis of reference other than you and I probably have now. That is why the Bauhaus, now almost a century old still ‘modern’ look.

Resets in life

What about your reference in your life? Do you have them? Are you aware of them? Are you aware of what you believe? Important events in the life of a person are usually represented by a shift in personal reference. A divorce, serious illness, a sudden loss of a loved one, winning the jackpot millions. All these events can be viewed as a resetting of the individual reference points.

I will not systematically examine the benchmarks we all need in life, although I’m sure that a lot in the different aspects of our lives, even in her most intimate parts. My intention is to give you a sense of the importance of it, to describe how they help you and to discover when it comes to changing them our limitations.

Paralysis fear

Why this contribution on benchmarks and what is its importance? We experienced so many great changes in many aspects of our lives today, that many of us experience life as if there are no reference points. In the corporate world, in politics and even in everyday family life experienced many of us that we do not really know where we are or what we see, with the result that we dare derive from what we see and nothing to decide and no conclusions do nothing. We are then fixed. Paralyzed. We do not act and do not make decisions because we fear that they may be wrong.

I’ll give you an example of how changing reference affects communication. Communication is also dependent on clear benchmarks: if I do not know if you’re a friend who is planning to help or enemy focused on damage, will not be much exchange of thoughts, me you will not leave the comfort zone and will we develop a relationship.

To give you a concrete, practical example: the reason that video works is usually that we know each other. Established relationships have clear reference points. Where we lack reference, we lack understanding of what we see. Where reference is missing, as I see it, ideology is the replacement of reality as a basis for observations and decisions.

This is, I think one of the reasons why the European crisis is still unresolved. We base our economic and political measures on how we think the reality is put together and how things are going, rather than reality itself. George Orwell said it so well: “To see what is in front of us, is a constant battle.” Actually, I think European politicians are not willing to really see what is happening and are basically guided by ideology rather than reality. You know the result.

‘Context drives meaning’

If many reference points change in a short time, there is no stable context that gives meaning to facts. And without this context, there is no communication. Communication needs to interpret the facts. Context Without this communication, and without making it feel part of an understood reality of fear and uncertainty come into the picture and touches the sense of personal meaning for. With this uncertainty comes fear and sense of futility in the picture, as well as the ego, one of the human mechanisms to deal with anxiety.

Our mental models of reality change more slowly than the reality itself. This creates a lot of uncertainty. One of the big questions, as I see it, is whether we accept this new reality, or that we are hiding in ideology, and as it were escaping from how things are now. For example, the belief that healthy banks promote a healthy economy is just what it is, a belief. The belief that the annual government deficit must be less than 3% of national income lower is just what it is, a belief, an ideology.

I am convinced that this struggle between reality and ideology of the current major problems in many domains. Think of areas such as politics, business, marketing, science, education, food, energy, banking, the sustainability agenda, to name but a few. Examples

Rediscovery of Man

Politics based on how we like to think about reality, is not very effective and can be destructive. I would say look around you! I consider policies that lead to people committing suicide because they see no way out of this economic situation – or leads to food banks and children with hunger, also in the Netherlands – and policies aimed at creating poverty (“promoting dynamics labor “) as criminal.

Other examples? It seems that even ‘McKinsey’ and ‘Harvard’ and (other) consultancies the valuable role of man in business rediscover, after decades of cost via spreadsheet analyzes have advocated. Very good news!

Why do people and companies are guided by ideology as their guide for their actions? Opportunism? Stupidity? Uncertainty? The comfort zone? How about you? Rooted in ideology or reality?

Frans van der Reep Digital World is a lecturer at the college Inholland

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