How well do we really know ourselves?

Unless you are visiting this site as a psychologist or cognitive scientist, it is likely you are considering this question with some suspicion. What has this to do with projects? In my view, everything.

We are each a self-contained project with all the project foibles and conflicts we understand in other modes of communal being. Moreover, we are the instigators of these projects by all wider definitions. Projects reflect our human foibles and (with no wish on my part to intrude upon the spiritual perspectives here) we are otherwise the only ones measuring at all.

I have been reading psychology as a hobby for several years. I chose a different MSc path in 2019 – choosing project management instead. But I am now taking on masters number two – Psychology as a part-time MSc began in October 2021.

The biological sciences are making huge strides into organisational understandings. Cognitive Science is closing in on the mind-body problem. Philosophical scientists are increasingly biologically inclined and moving away from the physics that has dominated the field for so long. I am not advocating we begin looking at organic solutions to projects e.g., construction or multinational restructuring projects, but I am advocating comparison. The organisational challenges and complexity these fields of science are addressing have more than a passing resemblance to cooperation, communication, coordination, collaboration, and competition language we use in wider project thinking.

I have much to say here. And much more I am not even yet sure I can hope to learn. But the modelling in cognitive science by the likes of David Chalmers, Giulio Tononi, and Michael Gazzaniga; or the modelling of the psyche and conflicting parts of our minds from the schools of Freud or Jung; or nature’s way of learning lessons and passing on information across project boundaries; all use language and concepts recognisable in project management, and wider business management, in some pretty profound ways.

Some of my observations and comparisons will be offered here…