This synthesis is a foundation and justification of why, when dealing with strategic or conceptual aspects of work, it is necessary to work with the wisdom those that are participating have in order to upgrade solutions to generate value. Everyone has some aspect in which s/he is wise, and this wisdom generates the context in which her/his behavior is adaptive.
Almost 40 years ago I had the opportunity to develop an organizational process in a midsize organization which drove me to meet the people who drove the operation of their open salt mine.
These people demonstrated, without needing to demonstrate, that their leaders, even though they had hardly completed their elementary school, had the wisdom that is reserved for the “chosen ones”.
It was an extremely productive work, which was just the demonstration that there is no necessary relation between scholarship and wisdom. Scholarship might provide erudition, but wisdom needs to be earned step by step and brick by brick.
I never forgot this experience, which led me to the decision to always work with the wise part every individual has when dealing with the conceptual or strategic aspects of businesses.
Wisdom is a pathway with many masters
Wisdom can be defined as the capacity of an individual to integrate idealism and realism with value adding actions.
The characteristic of individuals who achieved wisdom is that they had multiple masters that had an authoritative role in their lives. These roles are still in force and they still admire them.
Admiration and functional envy are the concepts that allow achieving wisdom. Individuals who admire others’ achievements and deeds have the opportunity to achieve wisdom, but only if they pursue the objective of adding value in an environment. Functional envy drives individuals to achieve goals.
Individuals with conflictive relations with authority can never achieve wisdom. They might be extremely erudite, extremely hard workers but they will never be able to integrate idealism and realism with a value adding attitude in their environment.
The apparent paradox of wisdom is the need of multiple masters. It is said that disciples are those learners who overcome their masters. But wisdom, defined as the space where an individual has been able to integrate idealism and realism with value adding actions, cannot be overcome.
Competing with a master in a field where s/he is wise is a demonstration of the prevalence of the need to gain over the need to add value. Multiple masters make wisdom accessible.
Erudition is not analogous to wisdom; it might be different or a fallacious “version” of wisdom. Wisdom implies action while erudition does not.
Achieving wisdom cannot be a goal for a wise person; wisdom is the consequence of the action of an individual but does not cause it. It is unwise to try to achieve wisdom.
That is why wisdom is a pathway with multiple masters. Masters are ordinary or extraordinary people who have achieved wisdom in some field. Look for them while you continue adding value.
To achieve it you need to abandon your modesty and expand your humbleness. Wise people do not need to be right, just functional.
NOTE: The Unicist Research Institute was the pioneer in complexity science research and became a private global decentralized leading research organization in the field of human adaptive systems.