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Maslow on Management by Abraham H. Maslow

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Addition to the Notes on the Creative Person

It is as if these people were afraid of the future and also mistrusted their own ability to improvise in the face of something that would come up unexpectedly. This is then a combination of a lack of trust in ones’ self, a kind of fear that one does not have the ability or the capacity to face anything which is unexpected, unpredictable.

Since so much of the trouble with mechanical and authoritarian organization, and with old-fashioned treatment of the worker as an interchangeable part, seems to be the inability to shift and change, the obsessional need for a planned-out future, for schedules, for sameness, and the like, it seems to me that it would be basically quite important for the philosophy of democratic management to study more carefully the psychodynamics of creativeness.

It is desirable to stress, in this context particularly, the ability to be imprecise. The creative person is able to be flexible; he can change course as the situation changes (which it always does); he can give up his plans, he can continuously and flexibly adapt to the law of the changing situation and to the changing authority of the facts, to the demand character of the shifting problem.

This means, to say it in a theoretical way, that he is able to face a changing future; that is, he does not need a fixed and unchanging future. He seems not to be threatened ...

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