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Cog Diss

If interested, check out Mary Jo Foley‘s hindsight blog post regarding Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer‘s screw-up on the Vista fiasco: Feedback Failure. Mary laments:

“As a result, I’m left wondering about Vista, as many are/were about the current financial crisis: Why didn’t anyone inform us sooner of the impending meltdown? Weren’t there warning signs? Where was everybody?”

Surely Mary, you’re joking, right? You’re wondering where everybody was and why nobody informed us? In short, at least some Microsoft DICS who weren’t deeply and personally invested in the Vista project either:

  • knew about the impending doom but were afraid to speak up,
  • did have the courage to speak up but were “ignored” or slapped down,
  • disconnected and distanced” themselves from the project because they didn’t give a chit about it (apathy)

Those who were fully ensconced in the quagmire were blinded by the light. They suffered from the common and pervasive human malady called “cognitive dissonance“. Cog Diss is where you convince yourself that you’re looking at a pile of gold when in reality you’re staring at a pile of poop. However, deep down, you sense the mismatch and experience uneasy feelings as a result.

All the dysfunctional behaviors described above are caused by living life too long within the confines of an unchanging and soul-busting CCH bureaucracy.

  1. Ray
    December 18, 2009 at 9:05 am

    It is also what was called group think. There are only a few rare individuals that can buck group think. And they have to be ready to be ignored at best to be removed at worst. What is interesting is that even when proven correct those individuals still have “not a team player” stamped on them. Even though they are one of the best players you can have on the team. They force you to think and be better.

    • December 18, 2009 at 12:58 pm

      Hi Ray,

      It’s definitely similar to group/clanthink, but I think that Cog Diss is a phenomenon that occurs in a person (I assert in every person to some degree) regardless of whether the person is a member of a group. It’s like when everybody thinks your baby is uglier than sin, but you think he/her looks like an angel.

      Thanks for listening.

  1. April 24, 2011 at 1:10 am

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