The Control Illusion

The Control Illusion

Over time, in Governance, Politics, Science, Education, Media, Meteorology, Religion, Health, International Relations, and Agriculture, the prevailing human point of view increasingly sought to seek power, control and separation as the sensible way to go.

From one aspect, this trait of the Human Race enabled it to become the dominant species on the planet, now extending into the Solar System and beyond.  It has inspired insatiable curiosity, experimentation and risk-taking that has led to truly awesome achievements in all the above fields with one glaring exception — the increasing fractious, divisive and self-defeating manner in which Human Beings engage with each other and the world we inhabit.

There is a paradox of increasing accomplishments in the many fields of human endeavor mentioned above on the one hand and on the other hand, inability or unwillingness to truly collaborate with others.  Could it be possible that within this paradox lies the inevitable demise of the Human race and becoming the victim of our own ‘success’?

Are the global issues of Climate Change, Pandemics, Terrorism, Inequality, Racism, and international disputes regards trade, sovereignty, borders, blurring of the line between truth and lies all early clues that the Krishnamurti/Bohm idea of Humanity’s ‘wrong turn’ has put us on an irreversible track of self-destruction?  It seems that one of Einstein’s most quoted declarations remains as valid as his many scientific theories: “The problems facing the world today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them.”  It begs the question, is it possible that the Human race could affect a “Right Turn” rather than continue in its “Wrong Turn”?

Reflecting on our experience of a ‘disastrous’ house move it became clear that our main engagement was to gain and maintain control of the process. At the time this seemed to be the responsible way to engage and at a certain level this has a validity.  However, we now see that seeking control as the senior context was an illusion driven by our need for self-survival, ego, and a dualistic (them and us) engagement which blocked and hindered a collaborative innovation (all together) that could have allowed breakthrough and transformative outcomes.


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Tony TurnbullTony Turnbull is a vastly experienced manager and consultant. He worked for 25 years in the consumer products industry in supply chain, HR and product launch functions and spent the next 25 years consulting to top international companies. His approach focuses on how individuals and organisations can achieve breakthrough improvements through building powerful working relationships. Tony has a passion for innovation and is continually inventing new leadership approaches that keep his clients performing at the edge of their capabilities.

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