I’m reminded of the old philosophical exercise of considering what it would be like to live on a two-dimensional plane as a sphere passed through it. It would seem simply like an expanding and contracting outline of a circle. You would never understand the sphere without some incredible untethered leap. Or leaving the plane.

As someone who recently left 18 years inside a huge corporatized marketing structure, as a creative, and suddenly finding myself on the outside of it, talking to people on a more one-on-one basis; re-discovering collaboration and creativity, I feel closer to understanding the sphere in ways it’s near-impossible to get inside a large corporation. And I’m not even close to fully grasping it. But what I can say confidently is that no matter what structural system is employed inside a money-backed, money-making institution, the discord of the accommodating structure won’t be put into harmony from within.

It’s my belief that money, like time, is only a created human construct, not of the natural world. One could even say it’s a “false construct,” though that’s confusing as it results in tangible things. Still, the symbolic construction of money (which is not actually a real good) leads to organizational structures that have no intrinsic value outside the satisfaction of that abstract premise. You use words like “control” and “authority,” but they don’t exist outside the made-up construct. One’s boss can’t tell you how to raise your children or what to eat for dinner. So all the words you/we use to describe work are essentially abstract concepts that support a symbolic, non-real idea that is so simple in actuality that it couldn’t possibly provide the answers you’re looking for. In some ways, it’s just another cult.

The closest thing to an answer that I’ve seen is the observation that smaller organizations don’t have quite the same issues that large ones do. My theory is that the group dynamic of humans is so strong that in situations where we all know each other’s names and all see everyone involved every day, humanity overpowers the false construct. At a certain size, we hand over our reality-based understanding of the team structure to an abstract system, and all the issues described above begin.

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