Welcome to kakistocracy, a world run by the most incompetent people

Welcome to kakistocracy, a world run by the most incompetent people

This term, a combination of two Greek words, reflects the reality of the world of work: when power is attributed to unskilled individuals. Explanations.

This term will probably come as a revelation to some readers… Kakistocracy actually refers neither to persimmon culture nor to a psychological syndrome. This linguistic oddity is built from two Greek words. Kakistos – which means the worst – and Kratos – power… This is the subject of a just-released book titled “Caktocracy or the power of the worst – A journey to the heart of disability »Signed by teacher-researcher Isabelle Barth.

Enable Medium

This book could be a comedic farce or a slightly outlandish thriller, but it is a very serious work that ultimately focuses on that classic question of the business world: How did an apparently incompetent individual rise to positions of responsibility? Or how we can, in certain cases, give power – or the illusion of having power – to ordinary people…

It's an old word that resurfaced on April 13, 2018, in tweet Written by CIA Director John Brennan against US President Donald Trump. “Your kakistocracy is collapsing after its unfortunate journey.”, Brennan tweeted. If politics is fertile ground for this kind of power, as Isabelle Barth explains in her book Harvard Business ReviewThe world of work is just as great! Manager incompetence results in tasks being performed poorly or not being completed.

It is a shame that it is run by incompetent people

In fact, when a hierarchical boss does not do his part, his subordinates must take his place, which requires a great deal of time and energy. Another effect of a kakistocracy is the shame that employees feel at having an incompetent representative of their company. In fact, a company's image is directly linked to the image of its managers…

READ  The stranded ship has been refloated, and traffic remains normal

Why promote inefficiency? The most common explanation for the inefficiency boom is the Peter Principle. According to this principle, competent employees are promoted until they reach a position they are unable to hold. Another possible factor is a situation in which incompetent people are systematically appointed to positions where they are likely to cause the least harm: that is, positions of managers.

– Inefficiency in the counseling service

Fear of incompetence and competition is also a good reason to promote incompetent people. Finally, as Isabelle Barth writes, another explanation for incompetence at the highest level of companies and institutions is the development of consultative governance, meaning the delegation of complex or strategic tasks to consulting firms… But rest assured François: it is possible to become competent from your incompetence! A necessary condition to put an end to the kakastocracies!

Look every day for the column “At work !”, at 6:44 a.m. on Classic Radio and on the podcast.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *