The Real and its Double in management
Still relatively unknown, Clément Rosset (1939 – …) is considered by most of his peers, not least Raphaël Enthoven, to be the greatest living French philosopher.
Deeply influenced by Spinoza, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, for the last thirty years he has been developing his theory of the real and its double, which can be summed up simply by ‘the real has no double and the fantasy of the double always betrays a refusal of the real’.
Rosset is a philosopher with an acerbic wit who enjoys gently mocking those people, by far the majority, who invent for themselves a double of reality in order to escape its tragedies.
This powerful tendency of the human race to seek an alternative reality – more acceptable and understandable – is easily identifiable in many areas; politics, religion, etc. and, of course, that of business.
Consequently, the strength of the visionary industrialist lies not so much in a capacity to invent the future as in a formidable energy devoted to seeing the real such as it is; and to drawing from it the right conclusions before everyone else. When he launched Free, Xavier Niel was not dreaming about the future; he saw the reality and put in place the necessary means to do better and/or cheaper than his competitors. Carlos Ghosn and Steve Jobs are also examples of this.
However, no one can claim to be able to see, accept and understand reality in all circumstances.
A manager should, therefore, take the greatest care in building his or her team. Because, of course, bolstered by success, a company chief is daily exposed to the risk of having his ‘head in the clouds’ and becoming disconnected from reality.
If the boss is surrounded by ‘yes-men’ or ‘pie-in-the-sky’ dreamers, the company will, sooner or later, come up against reality. He will then be like one of those French Generals, paralyzed in front of a field map in 1940, or a 19th century ship-owner refusing to acknowledge the arrival of railways.
The boss needs to be working directly with people ready to force him or her to face up to reality, in order to get the best from it.
Accepting the real in order to build, alongside the team, the future – now there is an exciting company project, especially if we keep in mind Clément Rosset’s other great philosophical idea – Force Majeure is nothing other than… joy!