Grant McCracken from This Blog Sits at the Intersection of Anthropology and Economics has a post on "learning to live with complexity: marketing vs. OB" Grant starts out talking about the class system at Harvard, where he taught, and that the Marketing Unit ranks lower than Organizational Behavior or HR
But from an extra-HBS point of view, this arrangement seems wrong. In the "real world" of business, marketing has more on the ball..
He quotes a recent Fast Company article, Why We Hate HR...
Typically, HR people .... pursue standardization and uniformity in the face of a workforce that is heterogeneous and complex. [...] The urge for one-size-fits-all, says one professor who studies the field, "is partly about compliance, but mostly because it's just easier." [...]
Grant, Hmm, if what Fast Company says is true, the world of business really only grasps plentitude on the demand side of the equation. The supply side...oh, here, we expect everyone to conceal their differences, suppress their individuality, and pretty much act like that robot in the "gray flannel suit."
I'm sorry but this just seems really, really stupid. Not because I am one of those bleeding hearts who believes that we all should cultivating the flower of our personhood. No, recognizing the internal diversity of the corporation looks like a good way of responding to the external diversity of the marketplace.Every corporation has marketing intelligence on tap. Every corporation is filled with people who understand some of the diversity out there because, hey, they live it all the time.
... that the marketplace is more accomodating of human difference out of commercial interest than are all those full hearted people in the human potential "movement" who claim to work from higher, purer motives. The trouble with this group, in my experience, is that when they talk about human potential they mean their idea of potential (and the rest of us can just f*ck right off).
I fall into the 'rest of us bucket'. Hell, everybody I know falls into it. I read an essay yesterday, here, three times and will read again because it paints a world full of wonderful possibilities's for the rest of us.