Friday, October 8, 2010

Why Context Matters

Interview video, transcript, and comments at Big Think.

Perpetual polarity is, to me, killing business and political media. I don't think any ideology or management strategy is forever relevant. Rather, their relevance is more dependent on context. Who is involved? What is happening around them? When is this happening? When I have a conversation with someone who infers that "conservative" or "liberal" agendas are the beginning, middle, and end of every single problem or solution, from every single angle, my eyes gloss over.

It's the same for single solutions considered applicable to all remotely relevant problems, at all times, in all contexts. Better to keep informed and make adjustments when necessary than to be lost in a truth that is no longer.

The American auto industry has served as one of these polarizing issues in light of the recession, government bailout, and rebalancing of global industry. Steve Rattner, who tackles the issue on Big Think, doesn't give answers in permanent absolutes, but in terms of time and relevance. Yes, an auto industry bailout  was necessary. No, it should not be made a habit. In reality, union contracts had little effect on profitability, but they were still outdated and did contribute to the problem.

Thoughtful. Honest. Devoid of sweeping judgement. I likes.