Professor Mats Alvesson delivers a public lecture based on his book, The Stupidity Paradox: The Power and Pitfalls of Functional Stupidity at Work.
Functional stupidity can be catastrophic. It can cause organisational collapse, financial meltdown and technical disaster. And there are countless, more everyday examples of organisations accepting the dubious, the absurd and the downright idiotic, from unsustainable management fads to the cult of leadership or an over-reliance on brand and image. Yet a dose of stupidity can be useful and produce good, short-term results: it can nurture harmony, encourage people to get on with the job and drive success. This is the stupidity paradox.
This talk tackles head-on the pros and cons of functional stupidity. You’ll discover what makes a workplace mindless, why being stupid might be a good thing in the short term but a disaster in the longer term, and how to make your workplace a little less stupid by challenging thoughtless conformity. It shows how harmony and action in the workplace can be balanced with a culture of questioning and challenge. The talk shows how anti-stupidity management can work.
Professor Mats Alvesson’s books — The Stupidity Paradox and Reflexive Leadership — have been profiled in esteemed world media including Le Monde, The Guardian and The Sunday Times. Notably, The Australian Financial Review featured an article on Professor Alvesson’s The Stupidity Paradox. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull even had the book on his personal reading list for Christmas!