'Functional stupidity': Is it smart to play dumb on the job?

  • Article by: Jeff Strickler , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 31, 2013 - 7:36 PM

Intelligent people are saying “functional stupidity” makes the workplace more efficient. But other smart people say that isn’t necessarily a good thing.

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sarahanneJun. 1, 13 3:10 PM

They have taken this concept to the level in Congress but do not really see much efficiency.

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pitythefoolsJun. 1, 13 3:27 PM

Jack Welch wrote of Change Agents: "Change agents have the courage to bet their careers. They know that leading change can be messy, with few clear-cut answers about how events will play out. They understand that pushback accompanies any change initiative and that they will take the brunt of it if things go wrong, termination included. That doesn't stop them, either."

Which makes functional stupidity a far, far safer stance than actually moving an organization forward.

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edinawaterJun. 1, 13 6:38 PM

"They have taken this concept to the level in Congress but do not really see much efficiency." --- The premise of the article is that people avoid change even when they know it is best. When it comes to congress, change is all they do. There is a saying, "The new Congressmen say they're going to turn the government around. I hope I don't get run over again." Congress is the polar opposite of what the article describes.

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blueitJun. 2, 13 8:55 AM

This article aptly describes my employer after a reorganization. A new CEO the staff has never met, unqualified managers developing work products and not asking the users their input.... The list goes on!!! No one is more screwed up than the HMO industry!

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YoganaziJun. 2, 13 8:58 AM

If your going to have an " innovation Team" they should probably know something about innovation.

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supervanJun. 2, 13 9:24 AM

Yeah, and if congress was "efficient" all you would hear is complaints about how they're "taking away our freedom". Be careful what you wish for.

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FrankLJun. 2, 1310:54 PM

If it is truly a team, then you want input from all the players because there are many unknowns in the development of the product. However, if the path has already been decided upon (ie. buying a certain brand of servers), then yes functional stupidity would be more efficient since it is just an assignment.

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mensanJun. 3, 13 8:29 AM

That quote makes me think that "change agents" = hubris. Which is an entirely different critter than intelligence.

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