During the last 30 years, maybe more since that 30 years is my entire professional life, I’ve seen lots of herd behavior in the business world. Herd behavior has always been present in society in general with trends and fads and the like. And I suppose some trends and fads have informed the business world as well to the degree these things could be passed from one organization to another before the advent of rapid communications. It seems though that the nature of the things that proliferate across the business community has evolved, or more aptly, devolved over time.
Some are tangible things that you can touch or have measurable utility, even if prone to being overdone. Take SAP for example. It is a software that became a must have for big companies as the CEO’s saw others getting it and wanted it for their group lest they be caught “short” by the ruler in the country club washroom. It could be the Deming lemmings whose offshoots from SPC grew into ISO 9000 and Six Sigma and everything GE every time, continuously improving. All of these things unleashed an army of seminars and consultants to support them, in that way giving the appearance of industriousness with less actual consideration to PURE tangible productivity. Woe is he who questions the oracles of these systems.
People liked being part of these revolutions. People liked it a lot. When there was a lull in invention of systems like software or a mathematical methodology, the hunger persisted. To feed it, the community turned to peddling buzz concepts. One of the most specious examples of this was introducing and up defining the idea of the simple word……change. A guy writes a book about some mice in a maze and how when the cheese was moved they had to adapt and overcome and this succeeded in taking the simple concept of change and elevating it to beyond Zen. Grown men stumble breathlessly from seminars clutching at three ring binders muttering “change, embrace it” like a mantra. Each acts as if he or she has been somehow cosmically touched by an ancient wisdom, that change will occur and it must be embraced. C level executive jobs under the change banner are now a matter of course in large organizations, mention of change management on one’s CV is de rigueur, and around the conference room table it is not if but when someone will invoke a cliché regarding change.
(As an aside I always wondered how change got so sexy when the thermodynamic principle of entropy is related and actually able to be studied and used. Change is a very cheap substitute. I digress.)
The people I have worked with over my 30 years in professional life who have embraced this type of conceptual mysticism have shared certain characteristics of personality. I imagine there will be one or two of them read this and take exception to what I have already said, let alone what I am about to say. They grab hold with religious fervor, and they end up letting systems run people rather than people running systems. I guess this is for a sense of belonging that comes with the perception that one grasps something that others don’t. To a man, no empiricism, no logic, no evidence can penetrate the veil because the systems are designed to answer all questions, usually with questions. They send the questioner off on tangential inquiry, or as a last resort they fall into wrangling about definitions. They consume, and they perpetuate. Google any of them and see.
That’s how Game strikes me. Setting aside what Cane Caldo has said and continues to say about it (which I agree with and hope he continues) regarding the Christian man and Game, the predictable lines of defense (lacking a better term) have manifested, well, predictably, like a favored pastime. “Well first we must all figure out what game really is”, or “the reason you discount game is you do not understand it” or “just because you have no Game doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist’ or “I do not accept that what you are talking about is really Game”…so forth.
There is that sense of being an insider that comes through, or possessing something that others do not or cannot grasp. It is not sufficient, oh no, to list off a couple of valid and verifiable facts that are ever present in pretty much all game defining derivation. To allow that someone sees a couple things they like and are easily explained would rob the mystique, reduce the magic, and most importantly it would let the dang pedestrians in on it. We can’t have that.
Is there something to what is described as Game? OF COURSE there is. But no matter how many layers of complexity can be manufactured, no matter how sophisticated they make it, or worse, no matter how emotional or shrill the subscribers become, it is common sense being filtered through some innate need to be involved in something different, something special, something exclusive. This opinion is likely to be upsetting and met with assertions of my stupidity. Someone will find a misspelled word, another, an error in grammar, and still others, just generic criticism of the way this is written. Like that. That line of defense is even beyond the last one.
It doesn’t really matter what the response is because it is no more likely that I can present an iron clad case for what I am saying than it is that Game adherents can for what they assert. The difference is, I am admitting it through sarcasm. I am not actually arguing anything definitive as much as saying there is really nothing to argue. The proof text of game is akin to Art Bell Coast to Coast proving the existence of extraterrestrial life. Anecdote after anecdote coupled with a sense of a community of the informed under lay the thing.
Men insist Game is real and explanations fly off them. Women, possessing a reluctance to challenge it in a manner not unlike complimenting the naked emperor on his cloths, rush in with shaming language to attack men who question Game. They want to plow pioneering ground, to be Condoleezza Rice to Game’s Augusta National. It makes challenging Game a risky proposition, and that serves to reduce the overt efforts toward same.
There is no proof that Game is anything beyond a handful of tips that coincide with some aspects of human nature, some good, some bad, some neutral. It is a religious belief steeped in a faith in something about which two true believers can pontificate and modify all day everyday for an infinite amount of time and never reach completion. This is not a thing, per se, it is not something deserving of its own special unique noun. Unlike say Christianity, about which indeed there is great debate regarding particulars and specifics, the discussion of Game has no centrality, no summary or core principle that can set the topic down and leave it lacking a need for further refinement. It does not happen.
In any case, agree or disagree, it’s my opinion and it is a seemingly narrowly held one, a special one. If you disagree it is because you just don’t get the point. It is immune to, no, impenetrable to critique, and unable to be questioned, for the mere act of questioning demonstrates a mind incapable of understanding any attempt to answer.