Since this will likely be my last post for 2011, I have decided to write it in the form of a wish for 2012; The Jester is due for a comeback.
What is a Jester?
“In ancient times courts employed fools and by the Middle Ages the jester was a familiar figure. In Renaissance times, aristocratic households in Britain employed licensed fools or jesters, who sometimes dressed as other servants were dressed, but generally wore a motley coat, hood with ass’s (i.e. donkey) ears or a red-flannel coxcomb and bells. Regarded as pets or mascots, they served not simply to amuse but to criticise their master or mistress and their guests. Queen Elizabeth (reigned 1558-1603) is said to have rebuked one of her fools for being insufficiently severe with her.” -Wikipedia
Where should the Jester work?
Specifically I think Jester’s should be employed by all senior public servants
Why do we need to bring back the Jester?
- There is far too much ego in the senior cadres of the public service
- Rank is taken far too seriously in the public service in general. Senior leaders are humans. They go home at night to their families.
- The most senior ranking public servant in the room is almost never challenged (this problem occurs at every level)
- “Group think” is dangerous. Someone needs to be hired whose job it is to play devil’s advocate in a senior leader’s office, full-time.