The Subjective

"Subjective" gets no respect in the English language. It is only an adjective. "Objective" on the other hand is an adjective AND a noun. What’s up with that?

Organizations thrive on dealing with "the objective". MBA stuff, the objective gives direction, it is measurable. Good ones are short, to the point and motivating. Just what every good organization wants, a tool for driving the troops. …and I believe in all this!

Problem is that a data -> information-> measurable -> dispassionate approach to decision making looses the richness of subjectivity. The fact is, there is never really enough information to make any decision on a purely objective basis. Organizations should instead embrace subjectivity as a compliment to objectivity, as opposed to pretending that subjectivity is a bad thing.

Now for the cool tie-in. Web 2.0 (or whatever you want to call it) is the institutionalization of subjectivity. Conversation, community, networks are all examples of the nature of subjectivity. An infrastructure based on those principles will allow organizations to leverage subjectivity and make it a true compliment to the objective tools already in use.

With that in mind, I am lobbying that "subjective" be coined as a noun. It could mean the conversation we hope to achieve as an organization.


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