Idea of the week – Being a Practical Ontologist

By Saturday, January 23, 2010 0 , Permalink

A very nice man I met the other day on Twitter said he was a Corporate Anthropologist.


What does this mean? Well, our guy analyzed corporate cultures, the way people behaved and how these cultures could change. He sorted out through corporate rituals, legends and heroes.

That got me thinking about how we view our lives. The corporate world is nothing but an organization, a system. (It’s not me, it’s Peter Drucker who said that, some 50 years ago). And we humans who operate in this system need to respect its rules and adapt. Therefore, we generate habits and ways to respond to the system. We put bricks one by one which start to emerge and create a culture.

Corporate people are probably going to end up being studied – oh wait, we kind of are, already!

OK, setting up the corporate anthropology field aside, the idea got me thinking.

What am I then?

I can’t be put in the “corporate worker” box.
“Coach” is too restrictive and besides, it doesn’t tap into my  own searches and questions.

About a year ago, I ran into the idea of ONTOLOGY which I found to best fit me.
Ontology, is – if you look beyond simple Wikipedia articles and start reading a bit of philosophy – the search for meaning.

It is the field which encompasses Man’s quest for reason. What is reality? What is existence?
Going even further - what’s the point of it all?

So, yes, I’m an ontologist. But a practical one.
I’m not dreaming away or floating on a rock in space. I won’t go as far as affirming that the quest for meaning is infinite.

I will simply devote myself to my own quest, and helping others get from point A to point B,
IF this is a meaningful trip.

An ontologist coach will ask:

- what is reality to you?
- how do you define it?

And a practical ontologist coach will go on by asking:

- what’s missing from the picture?
- and how do you want to bring it in the picture?
- how do you see my  role in helping you achieve this?

So, yes, it might sound funny. But to us ontologists, life is something that needs to be explained, categorized and understood in order to be lived.

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