The Sermon on the Board Room Table’s core theme is honesty. Although I hope the listener will find their own “story” in it, I find it necessary to be completely open regarding what The Sermon “is about” – as much as that means anything in Art.
The Sermon is a piece of art therapy. It is not “based on a true story”, which is always a lie, but instead it’s a reflection on the lived experience of working for a very large state institution for more than five years. I saw some things I was morally opposed to, I stood up and pointed them out. Then I was made an example of in retaliation. It’s the same old boring tale of corruption and bullying, but with The Sermon I wanted to highlight what came after that experience of frustration and humiliation.
Here are the things I learned directly from my experience “living” The Sermon. I present them in bullet point format as that’s the language of modern business and you’re probably already getting tired reading these things known as “paragraphs”.
We are encouraged by “the motivators” of an organization to mindless ambition, leading to a desperate need for status and privilege.
- After my ordeal and in the time of COVID my superiors were desperate to hold meetings because the “meeting” was their entire existence. But with so many, many meetings in the pandemic they ran out of things to say and resorted to making us watch motivational videos from YouTube and LinkedIn Learning.
- The central theme of all of these meetings and videos was essentially ambition is good, ambition requires constant change, do not resist any form of change or you will not “rise” in the working world.
Status and privilege in the workplace can only be expressed through bullying / suffering.
- It came to me that these people don’t really have an identity, they think of themselves in terms of only what other people think of them. They have no core values other than this mindless ambition which at its root is just unbridled and unrelenting greed.
- The ambition they have won has to be expressed, others have to see “success” in order for it to be real.
- In an office environment this can be expressed in only two ways – the ability to reward and the ability to punish.