The concepts discussed here remind me of a book I read recently called “The Cure: Enterprise Medicine for Business”. It’s in the format of a novel, from the persectives of several different characters involved in a business that makes (unspecified) widgets, and I found it to be a page-turner. I think using a fictional example helps to make a lot of things explicit that would otherwise be kind of vague, or where the author might assume the reader knows what they’re talking about, and the first half gives some great insight into what a poorly-functioning company can look like.
The central recommendation is similar to what you describe from An Everyone Culture, except that the emphasis on radical communication doesn’t include personal stuff. The main “trick” it gives for making the whole organization work is that the top management has to buy in to the extreme-honesty company-first mentality and then continually force it on everyone else until it’s universally accepted, with special attention to discovering and removing any stubborn manager who wants to protect their own turf or play power games. It claims to be based on the famously effective management system that GE used. Having little experience of corporations myself, I can’t say whether it’s a realistic approach, but the whole thing struck me as a little too neat and tidy—if it were that easy, wouldn’t everybody be doing it already?
I found this aspect of the topic particularly interesting because it elucidates the main requirement of a question, which I’d never thought of before: a theory of mind.
My cats ask me for food all the time… but this isn’t really a question, it’s a demand. Similarly, when they seek out information, it’s always a solitary endeavor. The closest they might come to an interaction with a human (or another cat) specifically for the purpose of gaining information, would be approaching or meowing with the presumed intention of provoking a reaction that illustrates the other’s mood. Even then it’s more like “try it and see what happens” rather than a cooperative communication. I don’t think they can conceive of another entity possessing information and being capable of sharing it.
Would love to hear of any counterexamples, though.
Could you explain what you mean by resource allocation? Certainly there’s a lot of political and public opinion resistance to any new technology that would help the rich and not the poor. I think that stems from the thought that it will provide even more incentive for the rich to increase inequality (a view to which I’m sympathetic), but I don’t see how it would imply that only the distribution of wealth is important...