Sunday, August 10, 2014

Devils advocate

A few weeks ago, in some context, I heard in a meeting - Let me play devils advocate here. And I was reminded of Seth Godins post - where he says, The devil doesn't need an advocate. The brave need supporters, not critics.

Truth is, the self proclaimed devils advocates, never created anything - not a single creation in the world has come about due to a devils advocate - it has happened due to someone advocating a forward movement, not a block (like a devils advocate does).

It is easy to be a devils advocate - it is difficult to stand up and try something different. Or support those who are. Why is that so?

Possibly, because since the industrial age, there is this committee - managers, supervisors that sits on top of things, reviews things, asks questions, pushes things back but rarely contributes anything. Governments (especially the kind of hand me down governments that colonies like India got) are of the same type. Obstructionist, rarely contributing. And somehow, some managers are continuing their god given responsibility of being gatekeepers.

The belief that ideas are top down and that the lower level folks know nothing has to go...

In theatre there is an exercise in which one is supposed to say, Yes, and and not Yes but. try that next time, all those who think they are doing a great job of being a devils advocate...

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