From HAL’s Breakdown to Competitive Success

What happens to organizations when communication breaks down? It’s not pretty. Communication in an organization breaks down in any organization when people are afraid to speak up and go if necessary to the top.  The longer the distance and the greater the distance between the person on the ground and the person making decision the more likely that fear will enter the picture and communication will break down.  Trust and delegation of responsibility are vital to healthy businesses.  How tight is your OODA?

David Hunt, PE... Mechanical Engineer on the loose!

In the classic sci-fi movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey, based on the story by “Golden Age of Science Fiction” giant Arthur C. Clarke, the sentient computer HAL apparently goes insane and kills virtually the entire human crew of the ship.

In the second film, 2010, we learn that HAL had been ordered to lie to the crew, in direct contradiction of his stated purpose: “… the accurate processing of information without distortion or concealment.”  HAL reasoned that with the crew dead, he would no longer need to lie to them, thus killing the crew made logical, albeit amoral, sense.  An environment of lies directly led to the failure of the mission and multiple deaths.

Having worked <mumble> years in my professional career, I have seen the lengths to which people will go to spin information to put themselves into a better light and to weaken or even conceal…

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