Thursday, 17 April 2008

Thick As A Brick

I was visiting The Good Blogs when I came across this conservation thread

And it got me thinking. The weird thing about stumbling across this thread too is the synchronicity Just the other day a friend of mine had a really bad meeting with a prospective client. The meeting was chaired by a typical Alpha Female who cynically manipulated the meeting to humiliate and patronise my friend. This disturbing type of behaviour is entirely counter-productive for organisations and the phenomenon of 'thick as a brick wall' should be recognised in the same way that we have put 'the glass ceiling' on the agenda.

Invariably 'thick as a brick' people rely on the creative input of others to make themselves look good. Ironically however they display a classic symptom of Narcissistic Personality Disorder so that when discussions become too intellectually demanding and conceptually hard to grasp they turn on the idea and its proponent and destroy the very thing they wish to feed off! Classic lines being 'I just don't get what your talking about', 'I can't see the relevance of this', 'You're not convincing me' all of which turn their own failings into criticisms of the provider of the inspiration. Eric Fromm in Anatomy of Human Destructiveness provides an incisive analysis of Adolf Hitler in this context.

The imaginatively limited who happen to be in positions of organisational power spell trouble for all organisations. Their limitations mean that they are incapable of making meaning of the unusual and different. They are locked in a dogmatic rut. They suppress talent in order to control something they don't understand and they threaten the capability of organisations to adapt and change, and as an added bonus cause havoc and upset for co-workers and suppliers along the way. So who's the TAAB with the Barb in your place?


  1. My vote is to sack, RR. Whenever a staff member has his or her own agenda, s/he will never be on the same page. The bonehead's insatiable need for attention ends up making any productive team's effort counterproductive.

  2. I think being thick is fine, it's the anally conventional, or as you described them, imaginatively limited people, who always seem to rise to the top in organisations that are the problem.

    I can only assume that this kind of person gets to be in charge so often BECAUSE they are so limited - they focus on the target - rising up the organisation - instead of being distracted by silly things like doing a job properly.

    It's so long since I worked in a 'proper' job that I have never come into contact with that new phenomenon, the Alpha Female. She sounds terrifying.