The organisational theorist James March (Stanford) coined the term the ‘Technology of Foolishness’ in the 70s. In papers and articles he noted that this was needed to counteract the prevailing ‘Technology of Rationality’. He sometimes called it ‘sensible foolishness’.
He had observed that certain principles seemed to fixate Management and Leadership gurus: especially that ..all business activity should be goal driven, and that rationality rather than intuition should drive decision making.
This was constraining innovation and creativity.
So what does ‘technology of foolishness ‘ mean?
It means PLAY.
He exploded the idea that purpose precedes action, and showed that purpose emerges from action. Especially when those actions are imaginative and playful and intuitive and creative.
It is all about ‘escaping logic’.
Playfulness is a deliberate, temporary relaxation of rules in order to explore the possibilities of alternative rules.
And the killer finding was this. Organisations that value and encourage play are more profitable. (See Google’s 20% time – 20% of everyone’s time dedicated to unapproved & experimental ideas)
Once you look, you see support for this everywhere.
‘Play is the highest form of research’ Albert Einstein
‘The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by
the play instinct.’ Carl Jung
‘A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men’ Roald Dahl
Have you played today?
Just start mucking about. You’ll be in very good company.