This month we share a noteworthy quote from renowned writer and management theorist, Mary Parker Follett: “Instead of condemning conflict, we should set it to work for us. Why not? The friction between the driving wheel of the locomotive and the track is necessary to haul the train. All polishing is done by friction. The music of the violin we get by friction… So in business too we have to know when to try to eliminate friction and when to capitalize on it.” This quote appears in a book we highly recommend, Discussing the Undiscussable, by William Noonan. Follett’s words, originally published in 1924, stand the test of time and capture a basic premise of our work at PMC.
Brookings Executive Education (BEE) has retained Paul Paese, of PMC, to teach open enrollment and outreach courses on negotiation and conflict resolution. BEE is a partnership of the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC and the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis. The Brookings Institution and Washington University share a common benefactor and visionary in Robert S. Brookings. The mission of BEE is to deliver on Robert Brookings’ desire to “teach the art of handling problems rather than simply impart accumulated knowledge” to those in and engaged with government. Deeply committed to public service and practical education, BEE is an ideal outlet for Paul’s teaching, and he is honored to contribute to its mission.
Today’s United States is a place of deep division, both political and ideological. Few, if any, living Americans can remember a time when our country was more divided than it is now. And it’s clear this division may widen in the coming months and years. For this reason, we at PMC think this is a good time to remember the words contained in the Seal of the United States – E pluribus unum, or “Out of many, one.” Lively political discourse is essential for a healthy nation, but that discourse is now strained by polarization to the left and right. No matter how strongly our views may diverge, at the end of the day we are one. Many Americans seem to be forgetting this crucial fact right now. The more mindful we are of our national unity, the more peaceful we will be toward each other, despite our ideological differences. And who knows? If we can see beyond our political divisions, what’s to prevent us from defining our loyalties even more broadly? As Martin Luther King said so famously: “If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.” Here’s wishing us all some perspective in these tumultuous times.
The Encyclopedia of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (2nd edition) was published this month by SAGE and includes a chapter by PMC President, Paul Paese. The chapter summarizes the unprecedented integration of behavioral science and practice achieved by Chris Argyris & Donald Schon in their Theory of Action approach to organizational behavior. That approach has provided the foundation for our work at PMC from the very start, and continues to undergird our services to this day. The chapter can be accessed in the Articles section of this site.
As 2016 draws to close, we would like to thank the many clients, colleagues, and partners who played a part in the continued success of Paese Management Consulting over the past year. It’s been our best year ever at PMC, and we know our continued success will depend as much as ever on the relationships we’ve built and the creative possibilities that arise through partnership and collaboration. Wishing you the happiest of holidays and all the best in 2017!
PMC is pleased to join other Kirkwood, Missouri-area businesses in sponsoring The Kirkwood Call. The official newspaper of Kirkwood High School, The Call is arguably the most honored of all of KHS’s distinguished academic and extra-curricular entities. Last year, for example, The Call again received the First Amendment Press Freedom Award (winning the award 9 out of the past 10 years) and, in 2012, received the Charles Klotzer Media Literacy Award “In recognition of 93 years of award-winning journalism and hands-on experience for student journalists.”