The Spiritual Nature Of Organisations

The Nature of the Organisation

The tradition of the golem has been a part of Hebrew lore for a very long time indeed. A golem is, or perhaps rather, was, a robot like being that was created by a combination of Kabbalistic practices for the purpose of doing a variety of tasks. Tradition says these were often no more complicated than helping with the housework. Legend has it that at least two such golems have been created within living memory. There was that created by the Rabbi Loew of Poland and the other by Paracelsus the great physician, thinker and man of many other talents. A wonderful, more modern example, albeit a cartoon fantasy, is the amazing broom that was used by Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer’s apprentice in Walt Disney’s “Fantasia”. There is also, also fictional, and nonetheless, wonderfully scary story of Dr. Frankenstein and his monster. All the creators of these golems came up hard against a great truth.

This is that when you create anything with the intention of endowing that thing with certain abilities, that thing inevitably takes on at least some of the characteristics of its creator. It achieves a consciousness of a sort and it is this consciousness that tradition says is almost impossible to eradicate. If one looks at the human counterpart this holding onto consciousness is certainly true of us as human beings. We hold onto our consciousness with a grim determination. Intention seems to be the key. One of the very basics of quantum physics is that the observer by the mere fact of his presence becomes part of and has an enormous influence on, whatever is happening. Mickey Mouse (or rather his Master), the Rabbi and Paracelsus soon found themselves in the position of having to destroy what they had created. Their golems simply took matters into their own hands. They refused to be dictated to, and in fact, became positively destructive.

The substance or otherwise of all these legends is not our concern. It is said with great vigour by those who concern themselves with such matters without taking the trouble to investigate first, that such things are not possible and that such tales should be left in the realm of fantasy as the products of deluded minds. Perhaps.

However the fact of the matter is that today we are surrounded by myriads of our creations that fit the description of the Golem with remarkable accuracy. There are Golems of a multitude of shapes and sizes. Almost without exception they, like the Golems of old, are also running amok. Like the earlier golems of legend, the actions of these modern creations are already and becoming more and more unbridled. They act with very little concern for the consequences of what they do and the effects of those actions on their creators – us. These golems, beings, entities – call them what you will - are creatures of our own making and like Mickey Mouse, the Rabbi and Paracelsus we too are now faced with the option of either destroying them or bringing them under control.

For us it seems that the former option is neither practical (nor that easy as Mickey, the good Rabbi and Paracelsus found) nor desirable. These modern golems are far too valuable to us. We have become very dependant indeed on the services they render us and we have made them an integral, even essential part of our lives. We have created whole rituals around them. To begin with we honour their coming into existence with due pomp and ceremony. Serious documents are drawn up and lodged with the authorities. We give them names that are ascribed to them by one of the most powerful things we do as human beings – the making of a declaration. We do this in the form of expensive and considerable advertising in all the media available to us.

This declaration is given the full force of our legal systems and on a nominated date and time the golem comes into existence with a full range of heavily protected rights. It is also an interesting fact that precious few obligations of either an ethical or moral or nature are imposed by any of the documentation and authority that bring the organisation into existence. Nothing is also said about their obligations to their creators. It is a more than alarming situation.

The entities referred to are those that we call companies or organisations. It is these beings that now effectively run our lives, our civilisation, and our world. We delude ourselves if we think that we, as individuals are in charge here. We gave away that power a while ago. Today it is more evident than ever that what is paramount, is what is good for the company as opposed to what might be good for the employees or society or government. The making of profits is permitted in almost any way that this can be achieved, including the raping of resources and exploitation of the very people that brought the organisation into existence.

A perfectly normal human being who enjoys a walk in the mountains or watching trout in a crystal stream will return to their office after such an interlude and give orders to dump the factory effluent in the nearest river, or order the decimation of ancient forests or refuse to install emission control because the existence of the organisation will otherwise be adversely effected! A CEO who is a father or grandfather will actively promote the consumption of a variety of foods and substances that are rapidly eroding the basic health and well being of both children and adults. If you listen to the radio and TV you will notice that we actually talk about these entities as apart from ourselves. It is the organisation who is establishing new factories, subsidising education, sponsoring football – and the rest. Let us not fool ourselves that it is the Board of Directors that is in control. The existence and well being of the Organisation is the main drive! How did this come about? Let us trace the origin of these remarkable entities – our organisations.

It can be argued to good effect that the first of the World Wars were the Napoleonic Wars, that swept across Europe after the disaster of the French Revolution. Certainly these Wars involved, to a very great degree, the whole of what we call the Western World. Never before had such demands been made on our, up till then, quite limited manufacturing capacity. Both manufacture and markets were limited by, not only the availability of resources and capital, but also the difficulty of distribution. Suddenly the infrastructure was called upon to produce all the goods and material required to keep armies in the field that numbered in the hundreds of thousands of men, women and animals and also to distribute these to where they were most needed.

As a species we rose magnificently to the occasion. The old saying that the occasion produces the man was well proven. The first of the “manufactories” appeared where men, capital and raw materials were assembled in one place, on scale not seen before. Large and relatively efficient organisations came into existence. Because of their extraordinary ability to make unprecedented amounts of money and profits for their shareholder founders they were well protected by governments and the legal system. All this however was child’s play when compared to the explosion that took place when the American colossus awoke at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. Remarkable men appeared with an extraordinary talent for pulling together resources of all kinds and then organising them in a coherent manner to enable the production of goods on a scale not seen or even contemplated before.

The scale of their talent and resourcefulness in exploiting the opportunities that existed in a ruthlessly self-centred manner, with little regard for the results of their actions, was and still is, quite breathtaking. Forests were cut down. Watercourses destroyed. The shape of the very planet itself was changed. Myriad other forms of life were brought to and beyond, the point of extinction. Aboriginal inhabitants were swept aside with scant regard fro their welfare or rights. Cities exploded like cancers on the surface of the planet as slums proliferated. Tidal waves of people were moved about without regard for either the individual or the effects on the environment. Toxins as the by-product of the pursuit of profit were - and still are - poured into the skies, rivers and oceans.

All in the pursuit of shareholder profit. Since then the game has been on. With only small, largely cosmetic modifications, the rules that were laid down by those early giants and acquiesced to by society and by government have not significantly changed. The organisational culture that came into existence then, continues in the much the same unprincipled and unbridled manner, with the twin gods of Profit and Growth reigning supreme. There was, and still is, ruthless exploitation of all resources. An especially infamous remark is attributed to Henry Ford who is said to have been overheard saying to an acquaintance “The problem I have is that whenever I hire a pair of hands, I get a man”. This same spirit of unbridled ruthlessness in the pursuit of purely self-centred ends is alive and flourishing in the culture of too many organisations even today.

None of this is to say that the pursuit of profit is in anyway bad. What is the point of business if there is no profit? However we need to look very hard at how we go about achieving this aim. Certainly the way we are going about it right now is having some very undesirable spin-offs. It is not all dark and gloomy. Many people in many organisations are recognising the real dangers of what is happening and taking appropriate action. The danger is that is may not be enough. In fact in terms of what is happening to us, our society and the planet, it can be said with certainty that, most decidedly, it is not enough. In the next instalment we shall continue to examine what is happening to this wonderful world of business and what can be done. We do not believe that the solution is especially complex and that does not mean it will be easy.

The Leadership Challenge I said at the close of the last episode that all is by far from lost, though there is no room for complacency. There has always been, at least some level of awareness of the danger we faced and this is a very optimistic base from which to start. A vast and complex body of law has come into existence in an attempt to control the rapaciousness of much of business - or at least to make it a little less damaging. These laws are too often largely ineffectual and easily circumvented - unless the penalty that is enforced is sufficient of a deterrent to make the results of transgressing less palatable than the rewards of possible profit. It is a sad but true fact that too many organisations employ teams of highly specialised and educated people whose sole purpose is to determine what the organisation can get away with within the letter of the law - regardless of any social, moral or ethical considerations.

We must also be careful here. It cannot be said too often that we are seeing today a ground swell of global awareness that recognises that it is too dangerous to continue in this manner. We must not minimise in any way the huge efforts that many organisations are making to move away from the ethic of “it is OK if you can get away with it”. Cognisance must also be taken of the development of the very real social concern that many organisations are showing as they move away from the modus operandi of their founders. Nonetheless we still today have the situation where we essentially have the world of Business in one camp playing a highly complex game according to its own rules and Government and Society in another camp, in essence, attempting to defend themselves from the depredations of the Business camp. The antagonism is both real and virulent.

For over one hundred years the world of business has withdrawn from both Government and Society huge amounts of talent, resources, skills, money and raw materials solely in the pursuit of profit. We have a scenario where both Government and Society are so weakened, that their feeble protests against what is happening are quite pitiful. The cartoon figure of the business fat cat with money bulging from every pocket and large cigar clenched between fat lips, looking down scornfully at the raggedly dressed man in the street cuts a little close to the bone. Today we are seeing huge organisations that can – literally - buy and sell a larger number of the so-called independent nations.

So what can we do? Where, as they say, do we go for honey? Perhaps the answer is neither as difficult or as complex as we like to make it. This habit of making problems more complex than they are. is an old technique of ours. It excuses us from doing anything and we lapse into apathy. There is an ancient principle that the cure is never far from the disease – the dock is never far from the nettle. It would seem likely that the answer to our current problem also lies very close to hand. What is happening to an equally frightening degree in our family life is a remarkably accurate parallel of what is happening in our relationships with our organisations and perhaps, in this parallel, we can find a solution to the dangerous situation that confronts us all. Parents make it possible for children to appear on the planet. They nurture these children as they bring them up.

Just as the whole world of business was nurtured in its early days by the people who brought that world into being with great hopes of the benefits that business would bring us all. It can be said to be common cause that a great deal of parental nurturing, while done with great sincerity and great love, is, sadly, not done with any great amount of skill. The example, given by too many parents for their children to follow, leaves a great deal to be desired. Much of the so-called education of our children is left to under financed, under skilled, understaffed, under resourced systems and people that produce young people dangerously ill-equipped to deal with life. What these young people are mostly given are the skills required by the world of business to keep the organisations alive.

Eventually these children become teenagers. It requires no great intelligence to see the effect on society and families of the unbridled behaviour of too many of these teenagers. Ironically these self-same teenagers are seen by the world of business as an expanding market whose appetites and behaviours must be pandered to in the interests of turning a profit, quite regardless of the consequences. They are quickly absorbed by the same world of business where they are encouraged to perpetuate the same behaviour! In terms of the relationship between Government, Society and the Organisation, the latter can be likened with great accuracy to our teenagers. They too, have not been very well brought up and are running amok without too much idea of who they are or what they want to be or do with their lives!

Just as in the case of the family unit there comes a time when parental control is neither appropriate nor practicable, so it is in the macro picture. There comes a time when the teenager must learn to apply their own disciplines and restraints in the interests of their own survival and it must be said that our teenagers, despite their lack of training do this remarkably well. This speaks volumes for the indomitability of the human spirit. Exactly this time has come for the world of business. It is now in their own interests that organisations begin to apply self-discipline in the way that they run their affairs. Society and Government are gravely weakened.

The major resources of all kinds now rest securely in the grasp of the organisation. Society and Government have neither the will nor the resources nor the ability to effectively control business - most especially in this time of globalisation. It is now time for organisations to look to themselves and, for the purely practical consideration of greater profitability and effectiveness, ask themselves how can they improve the quality of life for the people with whom they wish to do business. The continued raping of resources coupled with the destruction of the environment will only mean the creation of weak and unsuitable society and customers and lead to the eventual destruction of business itself.

We could perhaps look no further that what the model presented above gives us. Perhaps we simply need to see our organisations as nothing more than unruly teenagers, without adequate guidelines for running their lives, which must be schooled to the bit. We must also be careful not to stretch the analogy too far. So the next question is - how? Teenagers since time immemorial have tended to form groupings or what are in a less complimentary way, called “gangs”. Is this not what an organisation is – a grouping or a “gang”? In all the best movies when it time to deal with a “gang” not much attention is paid to the individual members. The main thrust is at the leader or leaders. It is they that must be encouraged to look at things differently from the way they usually do.

They are then also taught very different skills to the ones that they have grown up to regard as correct. They are then encouraged and empowered to pass on this new viewpoint to their followers. It is important to realise that gang leaders rise to that position out of an innate ability that is called forth by the situations in which the group find themselves. Nobody teaches them anything. There seems to be little doubt that leaders are born and not made. However what these natural leaders do need to be - and can be taught – are a range of skills that will make their innate abilities both effective and desirable. Talent on its own is never enough. Even da Vinci went to art school and Mozart to music lessons! Our present education system from our earliest school years does little or nothing to call forth those latent leadership qualities. What our schools and universities seem hell bent on creating are managers who can maintain the status quo.

They seem rather to inculcate an adherence and conformity to an already existing model so that everyone can fit into society. Managers and their role must not in any way be diminished. They are vital and without them nothing would work or be maintained. However they are only distant cousins to the leaders that are so desperately needed. It must also be said that there is value in this conforming of course - and it is also a huge trap - the trap of regarding the lowest common denominator as acceptable or worse, the norm. We have over the years rallied to mediocrity. Small wonder that we have at best, feelings of disappointment and disillusionment. True leadership is discouraged rather than encouraged. It appears that it is far, far too uncomfortable for the existing system to deal with. Organisations prefer “leaders” that conform. The giants that created the system a hundred years ago would not be that welcome today! This is the challenge that confronts us and we needs must deal with it and soon. Something needs to be done to call forth the qualities of leadership where these exist.

There is room for huge optimism – life will not give us something that we cannot deal with. To believe otherwise reduces life to a hopeless proposition. It will, however, require great courage and a recultivation of some our most basic human talents and abilities - the ability to change our minds and to then take the huge risk of stepping outside what we have created as our norm. We have already done this in creating the existing situation and we can do it again. All our human progress is predicated on these talents and it is what we require from our leaders. It is far from certain that we can look to our conventional sources for the kind of leadership that is now required. Certainly our politicians do not – one only has to look at the results that are headlined every day – appear capable of providing it. There is then only one place to look and this is in the world of business.

The question that looms is this. Is business willing to step forward? It is difficult to believe that the individuals themselves that lead the large corporations are so blind and short sighted not to be able see the peril that confronts all of us. So the conundrum is this. Why don’t they come forward? They know that they could handle the problems we are globally confronted with. After all, to a very large extent, the organisations they head are responsible for a lot of them. Sherlock Holmes is credited with saying - “We must fall back on the old axiom that when all other contingencies fail, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth”. The failure of business to come forward escapes logic. It simply does not make any kind of sense.

Business will certainly not escape the catastrophe that appears to loom. So what “improbability” are we left with? Could it be that it is the Organisation itself – what I have been calling the Golem - that is preventing the individuals that it perceives as essential to its existence, from diluting their energies and attention by presenting themselves to serve the cause of society? Fantastic, ridiculous? Well perhaps not. In the next instalment we will examine the process by which our modern day golems come into existence and perhaps out of this we can test the possible validity of these thoughts.

It can be argued with considerable force that Man has a very real status as the Master Magician of the Physical Universe that we inhabit. The arguments in support of this seemingly extravagant statement are considerable and ubiquitous.

The Christian Bible says at Genesis 1:26 that Man is given dominion over the Earth and every living thing. This is confirmed at Genesis 1:28. Well, dominion is one of those “no half-measures” words – you either have dominion or you don’t. It means that we are in charge and, frighteningly, dominion also implies sovereign authority and that we may, therefore, do exactly as we wish. Dominion is a word without any implied limitations except perhaps to the overall suzerainty of God – the Bible is ominously silent as to what may result as a result of us exercising this dominion unwisely. There is a cliché that goes - “the proof of the pudding is in the eating” and we have been eating the pudding of for some time now.

We do not actually have to question whether or not we have in reality been given dominion. All we have to do is look around us and look at what we can do and have already done with the physical world we have found ourselves in. The results of both the wise and the unwise exercise of this dominion are very evident in our everyday lives.

For the purposes of this discussion I ask that you suspend your disbelief and cynicism simply so that the “improbabilities” put forward by Mr Holmes can be examined.

Where does the so-called Magic come in? Magic can be defined as “the conscious manipulation of the various elements of the physical universe through the use of the imagination in order to produce something that did not previously exist.” In the exercise of the gift of dominion Man is the Master of this manipulative activity. We are able to take the very basic elements of matter in all its shapes and forms and manipulate them in a great number of very remarkable ways. Sometimes the results are literally explosive and not altogether beneficial. At a more pleasant level we can also take other elements such as eggs, milk, flour, mix them, apply a little heat, and produce a cake, which bears no resemblance at all to its constituent elements. All this is practical magic of a very high order indeed.

Our acceptance of this as something that we can “just do” is evidence of the fact that at a level of what can be called natural knowing we are very much aware of just how powerful we are as magicians. For magic to be possible certain elements must be present.

First is the trained magician. This individual derives their authority and ability from the wisdom, knowledge and skill that has been passed down from a long line of predecessors. What is passed down is expertise in both the why and practical exercise of the magical technique. What the responsible magician also passes on is knowledge of how to deal with the inevitable results of magical practice.

Second is the Grimoire. Every good magician places heavy reliance on their grimoire or book of spells, which can be compared to a book of precedents and formulae that have been collected by themselves and their predecessors and are known to produce good results. The spells that come from the grimoire require the magician to follow an elaborate sequence of actions or procedures or what we may call rituals. These are performed with due solemnity and dignity. In the performance of a spell words are either written or spoken in a proper form as dictated by the appropriate ritual set out by the spell.

All this is intended to set in motion a series of energies that will create a something different to what was started with. Every grimoire relies heavily on precedent and the fact that the particular spell has been successfully used many times before. This creates intent in the mind of the magician that what they are about to do will in fact work. It is pretty much common sense that if you do not believe that what you are doing will work, then it probably won’t. If the magician follows all the above then the spell that is cast is likely to be successful. Practise i.e. continued repetition of the ritual or process, enhances both the chances of success and the effectiveness and power of the spell. Over time, all doubt about the spells’ effectiveness will disappear and the whole procedure becomes pretty much automatically successful even in the hands of a less competent magician.

The spell that is cast becomes a solid raison d’etre for what is created and requires no further effort or interference from the magician. If left alone for long enough it in fact becomes almost impossible to interfere with the results of the spell and it will continue to do what it was created for – as it were, taking on a life or consciousness of its own, quite independent of the roots that brought it into existence – rather like a tree. There is a marked resemblance between what we call a recipe book and the magician’s grimoire that cannot be ignored. Any cook worth their salt will recognise that consciously or unconsciously they in fact follow the steps set out above every time they bake a cake or a batch of scones or prepare a more elaborate dish.

So what has all this to do with the nature of the organisation? In the first part of this series, I spoke of golems and how there seems to some validity in the idea that organisations can be regarded as modern day golems. If we assume for the moment that this might be true then what grimoire is being used? What magic is being used to bring them into existence? What spell is being cast and how?

Let us examine how a modern organisation comes into existence. We will obviously be painting with broad brush and talking of what usually happens and this does not invalidate the principles involved. The first thing that happens is the meeting of like minds that share a vision or what perhaps may be no more than an idea. In time – and this might be a very short time indeed - a clear intent of what it is they wish to achieve will emerge. It is unlikely that more than a very few minds are involved and very often only one. Once the intent is clear the next step will, as a rule, be consultation with a lawyer or someone of similar ilk that will attend to the ritual of the legal formalities to create the organisation – the word itself has all sorts of interesting connotations – under whose aegis the business that is contemplated will be run.

The first step in the magical process is already complete and that is the focussing of the intent. The rituals that now follow are elaborate, well set in custom and precedent and require the completion of various formalities in due form. A lot of energy goes into the selection of an appropriate name that is duly registered (does this not seem rather like a “Christening” or naming of some kind?) with the relevant authority. While the name varies slightly from country to country, what is generally known as the Memorandum and Articles of Association are drawn up. These documents set the reason or intent for the formation of the organisation as well as what is able to or not able to do. For example the amount of money that it can borrow is clearly stipulated. Both these documents have their roots in well-established precedent and custom, which as we have already said, is an intrinsic part of any magical process. In earlier times, at this point in the magical process, we might well have sacrificed a goat or some other part of our wealth.

These days, too, real power in the form of money changes hands – a lot less messy! On the appointed day that we call the Date of Incorporation (literally “the coming into a body”) the new company is recognised by society at large. This new entity is endowed with what we call a “legal persona” and is henceforth regarded as an entity quite separate from its founders at every level. The intention of all this carrying on is in fact just that – to legally separate the founders from the business activities of the organisation. In a very real way the founders or original magician from now on in have only limited responsibility or liability for what the organisation does. It is pretty much on its own. This is all well and good. However there is a problem.

The problem lies in the formulation of the intent and the powers that are endowed by the Memorandum and Articles by means of the process and ritual that has taken place. To use another very modern day analogy drawn from the world of computers, it is this Memorandum and Articles that is, as it were, the programming of the new golem and we all know that if the basic programming is skewed in some way the computer will simply not function as was originally intended. Now I cannot pretend to have read every Memorandum and Articles but it probably safe to say that nowhere in any of those documents will you find any moral or ethical injunction as to how the new company should behave in relation to either its creators or the society in which it was created to operate. In broad terms, the injunction or instruction or programming is simple and straightforward - make profits for shareholders. This is exactly what the new organisation sets out to do – no matter what and in any way possible.

The golem is truly given a licence to run amok without any moral or ethical restriction and we are, today, reeling under the effects of the spell that are daily being used to bring beings into existence that are not guided by any of the principles which, in theory at least, we human beings regard as important for us a social animals. None of the rules, over and above the laws that are in place, that we generally apply in our daily intercourse with one another apply to organisations. They can pretty much do what and how they like and every day we see the effects of this licence that we have granted them. The kind of relationship that currently exists between our organisations and us was foreseen by one of the great science fiction writers. I suspect he would be more than a little surprised to have this interpretation of the concepts he explored.

The late Dr. Isaac Asimov has produced a prodigious body of work including what he called The Foundation Series. This brief article does not intend to go deeply into his writings though they are capable of some profound analysis. There is however one important concept or idea that he came up with. It was Asimov who first conceptualised the creation of humanoid robots and then explored in great detail what might happen in the relationship between these robots and their human masters. In his early stories these robots were relatively primitive and capable only of fairly simple specific tasks. As his ideas and stories developed so did the robots and also their range of activities and abilities. He eventually conceived of robots that were nothing less than human beings that had been made in a factory rather than a womb! He postulated a very interesting development in the relationship between these robots and us, their creators.

He foresaw that we would become afraid of the robots that we had created. He also saw that we would perceive ourselves as being so dangerously disempowered and threatened that we would end up destroying them despite their very obvious benefits. He developed some very interesting stories around this theme. Some of the stories seem almost prophetic when one takes a long hard look at the relationships that have and are developing between our modern golems or organisations and ourselves. One of the more interesting ideas that Asimov develops is the idea of a set of rules to govern the relationship between the robots and his heroes. These laws seek to impose a set of obligations on the robots in their relationship with their creators. He called them his Laws of Robotics. For the purposes of my exploration of the relationship between organisations and human beings I have modified them slightly to meet the new case:
1. An Organisation may not injure humanity or, through inaction, allow Humanity to come to harm.
2. An Organisation may not injure a Human Being, or by inaction, allow a Human Being to come to harm except where that would conflict with the first Law.
3. An Organisation must obey the order given it by a Human Being except where that would conflict with the first two Laws.
4. An Organisation must protect its own existence except where this would conflict with the first three Laws.

It is quite clear that this set of Laws will open up a real can of worms if we attempt to apply them – even if only as a basis for ethical as opposed to legal behaviour. However they would seem to have sufficient value to be a powerful agenda for future discussion. The difficulties of their application will not allow us to escape the very real and urgent necessity for establishing a sensible (in the real meaning of the word) basis for what goes on between our organisations and us. We can no longer afford to leave Justice blindfolded.

So what can we do – if anything? For me the situation is far from hopeless and that does not mean that some urgent action is not required and soon. It is a principle of magic that when the magician casts a spell it is no easy matter to reverse the energy that has been set in motion. There is little doubt that this principle will apply to the golems that are already in existence. However as is illustrated the simple fact of being aware of what is going on can have an enormous influence. We believe that the movement is already afoot in the organisations that have already “woken up” and there are, thank goodness, a number of these.

There are some important steps that can be taken. Again we cannot rely on government to “enforce” these through legislation though this will undoubtedly be necessary even if of only limited effect. The responsibility for seeing that these steps are taken will largely devolve on the shoulders of those who already have set themselves up as the arbiters for the behaviour standards of existing golems – our accountants and auditors and, to a perhaps lesser extent, our lawyers and attorneys as well as those ordinary people who wish to create organisations in the first place.

The first step will be to create an awareness of the reality of the existing situation we face. This can be done by including comment in the annual auditors report and by using the incredible media machine that we have created.

Second, sentiments, perhaps along the lines of Dr Asimov’s Laws of Robotics, could be included in either the Vision or Mission statements where these exist and then making sure that these are properly disseminated and brought to the attention of employee. It is vital that the people who go to make up organisations become aware of what is being done in their name and that they also start to do something about it.

Third and perhaps, ideally, the simple addition of a few clauses in the Memo and Articles, that outline the moral and ethical obligations of organisations to both the humans and the society that gave them life. This shift in the energy of the original spell will have a huge retrospective effect on our existing golems.

Fourthly it is essential that these sentiments form part of the formation documents of any new organisation. In this way the new golem can be properly programmed as it were. It is time for us to truly grasp the reality of what and what we are as the Master Magicians that were granted dominion over every living thing.

The biggest mistake that we will make is if we continue to underestimate the power we have, and then like Samuel Beckett’s tramps, simply sit in our dustbin, doing nothing, while waiting for Godot to put it right. The results that will flow from that mistake do not bear contemplation. Certainly we are the problem. With equal certainty we are also the solution. It is time for all of us to get very busy indeed!