Aristotle doctrine is embedded in all expressions of the western world. Aristotle believed that everything in the world has a purpose, a raison d’être. Looking through Aristoteles' lenses, we can resonate his doctrine with the four main elements of an association: vision, mission, membership, governance.
Membership responds to the material cause, the governance to the formal cause, the mission to the efficient cause and the vision to the telic cause.
So, Aristotle, would have thrived as association manager…. or not?
We like to consider ourselves rational human beings, looking for casual relationships in the way we act. Consequently, we believe that our creations -in this case; an international association- will be organized and acted in a reasonable way and will look to efficiently reach its telic cause.
But how many times have you stopped believing in logic when you looked at the structure and the acts of your association? How many times was it hard to find a reason for the why’s you have asked?
Modern philosopher Daniel Dennett in his book “From Bacteria to Bach” gives a possible way out from the confusion of the “why?”. He proposes instead of approaching reality through the why question, to use a familiar pair of substitute phrases: what for? and how come?
Therefore, it might be better to take some time to look back before jumping to the future. Understanding “how come?” an association acts the way it acts and identifying the turning points in the association evolution path, it can indeed give us better understanding of today’s reality and help us plan the future with what for question
The title is provocative, Aristotle would have been a fine association manager but most probable he would had opted out from the frustration.
If you want to read more about inversion of thinking I highly recommend reading the Philosopher Daniel Dennett and his book “From Bacteria to Bach”