There was a time when a “Nod, nod, wink, wink” implied deception but also youthful innocence, acted out with an intent much less to deceive than to commit a rite-of-passage sin, like skipping afternoon classes to take in a ball game.
But that was then. Deception today is still inexcusable, but at a certain level, say, as practiced in the offices of certain large corporations, deception has grown up, if it can be said, to become a very serious business.
Take, for example, a British parliamentary committee’s recent conclusion that Rupert Murdoch – under whose watch certain News Corp. employees tapped the phones of people in the news – was “unfit to lead a large corporation.” Mr. Murdoch, the committee said, turned the other cheek to avoid an inconvenient truth. He demonstrated “willful blindness.”
The committee described willful blindness this way: “If there is knowledge that you could have had, should have had but chose not to have, you are still responsible.” This is the same description used by Margaret Heffernan, the author of Willful Blindness, which was shortlisted for the Goldman Sachs/Financial Times Best Business Book Award in 2011. We are pleased to publish an article on the topic by Ms. Heffernan.
Few leaders in business history could entrance and enthrall like Steve Jobs. Small wonder, then, that the brilliant Apple co-founder was known to create a “reality distortion field, in which reality was malleable. He could convince anyone of practically anything.” So writes Prasad Kaipa, the author of another article in this issue, “Steve Jobs and the art of mental model innovation.” Mr. Kaipa knows whereof he writes. He was a technical advisor and product marketing manager with Apple, and later a consultant to the company.
Both of the above-mentioned articles are fascinating reading. We hope you enjoy them and the other articles in this issue of Ivey Business Journal.