How does Optimization Madness cripple Business?

Clients and business partners ask me how they can identify if optimization madness is lingering at their business`doorstep. Here A few thoughts.

To live in reality means to face boundaries, to stand contradictions and to enjoy your senses. In reality we oscilate between danger and safety, pleasure and pain, strength and weakness.

Living in madness means to live in constant alertness. In madness each perception is one dimensional — the experience of danger, pain and weakness haunt us.

Madness is like the went off course brother of imagination and fantasy.

We activate our human power of imagination and fantasy if we want to become more light-hearted and more far-sighted. Madness in contrast conducts us into mental blackouts, unpredictable bursts of emotions and never ending compulsions.

Madness is therefore for me not a bad manner that you get over by shouting out “hey, are you nuts?“ and then everybody laughs and the haunting is over. Mad behavior does lasting harm.

If a company surrenders its yearning for improvement, further development or future prospects to madness then it is under the spell of optimization madness.

„Friendly optimization“, optimization that is dedicated to make life simple, sensual and resource saving is turned into the opposite. Optimization madness creates „hostile optimization“.

Optimization madness

  • does not allow rest or even peace;
  • allows no failure;
  • makes whimsical, thin-skinned and hotheaded;
  • is ignorant about the value of things and creatures.

You experience the horror of these optimization madness triggers by the intensity of its domineering nature, compulsive checking and destructive frenzy. Optimization madness creates a strong emotional unsettling because it gets its stage directions from powerful negative feelings : Greed, Mistrust and Hate.

Greed triggers domineering nature. Optimization madness speaks: „Far reaching power and unrestricted influence, both should always be expanded!“.

Mistrust cheers for compulsive checking. Optimization madness speaks: „Only those persons and things I can spy out and straighten can be trusted!“.

Hate gives wings to destructive frenzy. Optimization madness speaks: „Everything that upsets me, everybody who appears strange to me, I walk over them!“.

Got it. Optimization madness is finetuned by a dangerous emotional cocktail.

While you are reading did examples of companies cross your mind that are under siege by optimization madness?

I will mention three different appearances how optimzation-mad behavior shows up in companies:

  • There is the startup that presents itself as an adorable temple of innovation , but is zero sensitive to the weaknesses of its products or the shadows of its leadership team.
  • There is the established enterprise that has in an examplary manner slimmed and densified its operating cycles, but has no clue that the future demands product transition.
  • There is the cross-company co-operation network that can influence each and every behavior trace of its customers and employees, but has disabled the signal aquisition regarding life quality from its company social antennas.

Optimization madness is part of an economic life that becomes more and more absurd.

  • The value of goods is not reflected by its market capitalisation.
  • The markets are flooded with products and services that are good-for-nothing.
  • Despite facing a global pandemia whole business sectors stay in denial trance against developing a new approach to health.

The jailbreak from the optimization madhouse will not happen in this way: Not If we respond to it with a lack of emotion — this response is too colorless to serve as an escape strategy. Not If we declare it as an mental illness — this response only nutures anxiety and fear. Not If we lament and complain about it — this reponse soon wears thin.

The next evolution of economy calls for personalities that have recovered from optimization madness or are not attracted by its siren songs.

This league of business people celebrates amazing behavior paradoxes.They are the serious playfellows, the casual opponents and the open-minded secret revealers in business.

Patricia von Papstein , February 23rd, 2021

I am a business lady, a clnical and organizational psychologist and an admirer of technology and the arts. My work motto is "Bliss to Business!".