Cargo Cults and Magical Thinking in Organizations


Take a look the attached one page description about Cargo Cults after WWII in the South Pacific.

We can chuckle when we read this; however, this is not that different from the magical thinking in some organizations.

Some recent examples from a planet in another solar system:

  • Our proximity to an airport certainly means we are attractive to investors.
  • Public meetings will certainly magnetize people to work on projects and hence influence collaboration across the region.
  • We know the solution to all of our problems is to build a business park, so let’s plan and build it.

One interesting thing about magical thinking is that nobody can be accountable. As Cole Porter said ” Good work if you can get it.”

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