The Devil Incarnate

Moore in Religious Outsiders and the Making of Americans wrote the definitive work on the merits of having a 'Devil Incarnate+' to build team cohesion: circling the wagons against a conceived outside evil to cement relationships among members of the congregation. The ardor for the mission gets mixed up with the desire to prove the devil wrong.

It's a propaganda tool resorted to even by editors of prestigious scientific journals. See: Kennedy ("It's all right that in the best-selling novels about the rapture, the true believers ascend and the rest of us perish painfully. But U.S. society is now experiencing a convergence between religious conviction and partisan loyalty, readily detectable in the statistics of the 2004 election.").

Although, as Moore argues, it is a very powerful behavior fundamental+, this approach was not included in the fundamentals selected for World Class R&D. The reason may surprise you. I fully believe in this technique and have employed it unconsciously with great success in endeavors of my own. That's the reason. It's not certain this technique can be used consciously. Natural leaders resort to it without even thinking about its deceptions.

In World Class R&D we may remove one of the most powerful 'devil incarnates' ever conceived by man: the corporate bureaucracy. Many denizens of skunkworks+ revel in how they beat the system; how they succeeded despite the many obstacles placed in their way by 'the system.' If we remove this devilish incarnation, through the good management practices of World Class R&D, with what will it be replaced? This is still an open question.


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