Free space – Philosophy in organisations
Are we doing things right? What were we really after to begin with? What is the essence of our aspirations? What sort of courage or fortitude do we need to do justice to that core? In organisations the role played by questions like these is steadily becoming more important.
To answer them is both necessary and troublesome. You need a species of communication that aims at clarification of essentials, suspension of judgement, formulation and testing of personal views. Prerequisite for such reflection is ‘free space’, the ability to get away from habitual strategic orientations and beyond immediate interests and results.
To carry out this inquiry systematically and constructively, thinkers in classical Greece developed three ‘liberal arts’, the Trivium of dialectic, rhetoric and grammar.
In this book the authors demonstrate how the classical ideals of eloquence, discernment and good manners can be taken up into contemporary organisations. Parcing concrete cases they acquaint the reader with these three arts, that ultimately are the handmaidens for what in modern management literature is referred to as ‘excellence’, outstanding performance.The book contains ‘tips and tools’ for a variety of philosophical forms of dialogue. The authors are philosophers with extensive experience with consulting and training in organisations.
The book is currently out of print, but you can read the text here.
Boom Uitgevers, 2004