Wednesday, 11 June 2014

A case for nudity.

In my previous post, I mentioned the scenario where a fresh pair of eyes looks at an organisation, either as a new employee or a contractor, and finds their policies, workflows, or relationships somewhat nonsensical. This is sometimes summed up in the phrase, "The Emperor has no clothes!" where the team is seemingly oblivious to its obvious flaws or inconsistencies.

But what if there's a perfectly good reason for the Emperor's nudity? Maybe:
- he secretly likes being naked.
- the person in the role of Emperor has always been naked.
- it's in the organisation's mission statement that the Emperor shall always be naked.
- the Emperor is particularly fit, and his nakedness commands respect across the land!

Furthermore, who am I to judge the Emperor's clothing-less state, let alone suggest that he put clothes on? Consider the potential impact of such a change:
- the power imbalance that may occur by imposing clothes on the Emperor
- the change in morale that putting clothes might occur in both the Emperor and his people
- the cost of buying new clothes for the Emperor
- the impact on the fashion industry across the Empire
- there's no guarantee that putting clothes on the Emperor will necessarily bring more prosperity to the Empire, even if all the other world leaders wear clothes.

Sure, the outsiders might laugh a bit at the Emperor, but the Empire has managed to stay financially afloat for the moment. So, why risk provoking the ire of both the Emperor and his people by pointing out something that offends your cultural / professional values?

Who needs clothes anyway?