The act of organising involves conversations that invoke reflection. When these conversations grow on actors, organising invokes the resonance of the lyrical. At other times, conversations begin to tire and corrode actors. In these occasions, organising signifies a breakdown of dialogue and the inability to engage with alienations. Tasks are still being performed, efficiency is still being ordained, and yet organising is becoming a process of producing fearful solitude.
The situated actor inside organisations is a fascinating subject. She is a desiring, performative, vulnerable figure. She is an intersection of lacks and excesses. Conversations come together in fragments in organisations. Organisations are perennial fields of sense making where actors engage with the puzzle of fragmented conversations.
Technology informs organising in terms of structuring alternative temporalities. Temporalities do not merely signify portraits of optimality inside organisations. Technology is not merely the quickening of tasks and performance. Instead, at least some imaginations of technology can herald the interruption of clock time. As structures consolidate and social relations revolve around some tropes of power, what becomes standard is the experience of time.
People become bound to dominant imaginations of time. Strangely, time rather than being a marker of experience, becomes an imprisoning concept. Some imaginations of technology enable the discovery of alternative experiences of time. Time can take the romantic possibility of joyful community and camaraderie. Time can open up poignant sensibilities of conversing about loss, pain, memory and redemption.
Organisations are sites which enable meaning making, crafting entanglements between collectives and broader socials. The collective is always emerging inside the organisation. The collective can be interpreted as a form of selective sovereignty where some interests are secured at the expense of others. The collective can also be understood as a conversation about our vulnerabilities with respect to each other. The discovery of people’s vulnerabilities with each other is the fashioning of a different kind of subject inside organisations.
The subject who recognizes vulnerabilities in the act of organising is seeking to deepen time rather than hasten it. In the same moment, the subject is able to reflect on multiple affects, possibilities and cultures. Dialogue is initiated inside organisations about desires, the unpredictable extensions of speech and the curiosities of silence. The deepening of time enables actors to immerse themselves in a universe of solace and solidarity. Many spontaneous conversations occur where actors revel in the possibilities of these conversations.
It is when people want to escape spontaneous conversations that organisations begin to embody the corrosive. In the corrosive, there is no overflow of the self in conversations that are structured at the spur of the moment. Instead, people want to conceal and protect themselves to ensure that they have not revealed themselves in ways which make them more vulnerable. The scent of fear inside organisations is not as much about the existence of corrosive forms of power and dysfunctional leadership. Rather, the scent of fear is the failure of the organisation to emerge as a collective, and the residual memory of individuals needing to look after their own interests.
I invite you to engage with the Post Graduate Programme in Human Resource Management in this fascinating endeavour to discover organisational practice that stands at the thresholds of self, community, technology, spontaneity, solidarity and overflow.
I invite you all stakeholders of the programme for as many spontaneous conversations as possible.
With the warmest regards,