The individual v. the group

When groups of people form organisations, they can do very powerful things. Often, real change happens when organisations realize that change — when they implement it. However, too often we want to rely on the organisation to innovate change when, in fact, organisations cannot innovate. After all, it is much easier to trust a faceless organisation than an individual. It takes less thought.

The tendancy to trust organisations over individuals is misguided. Individuals are what move the organisation. In order for any organisation to move, an individual must take the first step, and they have to step away from the organisation. Because organisations work to sustain themselves (at the expense of individuals), the individual who steps away from the group will probably be shunned or mistrusted.

If you do something differently, people will be confused or even antagonistic towards you. “But that’s the way we’ve always done it.” “Heh, look what he’s doing!” Trusting an individual seems riskier. We want guarantees, and we can’t get them from individuals. An Organisation will provide us with a guarantee, or the illusion of one. If an individual gave us the same illusion, we would see through it right away. But, when an an organisation lies, the sheer number of people lying to you makes the lie beleivable. There is no more truth in what they say than when an individual says the same thing, but the lie holds water when it comes from a group.

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