More a blog about controversy, actually.

Most blogging gurus – like my business partner Dawn – suggest that a healthy dose of controversy is of useful if you want to boost your readership and encourage people to comment. So let’s get controversial then!

This was going to be a bit of a request blog, along the lines of ‘please send in any controversial topics you would like us to blog about and we’ll give it a go’ sort of thing. But, now that I see these words on the screen, they seem undeniably wimpy. If I want to be controversial, I should be telling you, not asking you, right? So, instead, I’m going to present a random list of controversial ideas of mine in the hope that they’ll stir up some debate. (But if you have any ideas, let me know too…)

(1) Psychology is really philosophy camouflaged with statistics. Statistics are notorious, and the best psychologists have not been afraid to dispense with them.

(2) Most workplace training is necessary because school-based teaching is focused on nothing beyond passing exams, which is in itself trivial. Therefore most school-based learning is trivial.

(3) Management theorists create jargon and diagrams as a substitute for profound and original thought. Most of it has been said before in ancient Greece and Rome, only better.

(4) The solution to gender conflict in the workplace is not to ignore or standardize it but to acknowledge and employ it. We haven’t even begun to try this yet.

(5) The opposite of self-help is socialism; the consequence of self-help is real social reform. If you don’t start with individual change, you’ll never reach corporate transformation.

(6) Techniques and training give us the power to manage our world; metaphors and myths give us the power to change it. Unfortunately, these powerful forces are usually relegated to the realm of entertainment rather than work or personal performance. That is why we find work boring and life meaningless.

(7) It is healthy to adopt a form of selfishness, in the sense of self-care and self-esteem. Ambition for self-development, pride in your achievements, confidence in your abilities – these examples of self-interest are virtuous if adopted in a rational way. Winners know this by instinct or experience.

(8) You are always judged on your ‘image’ no matter what your ‘substance’ is. But its better to think of it in terms of ‘design’ and ‘material’. You’ve got the building-blocks already; how you put it together and finish it off is up to your own taste.

As I look at these quickly-written points, they don’t seem too controversial even to my own eyes. Perhaps I’m more conservative than I thought I was. Perhaps, when you’re used to reading stuff on the Internet, there’s little that can pass for controversial anymore.

What is controversial anymore? Maybe that’s the biggest controversy of all.