Landru

Does anyone remember the Star Trek episode about Landru? Landru was the "God" of a very stifled and inhibited society; they were all about "The Body." Being part of The Body meant you did whatever Landru asked you to do, no matter how ridiculous or tastelessly dressed it required you to be.

The apparent reward for this kind of obediance was one day of utter insanity per year, when everyone went completely nutso and broke all the rules, committing atrocities of every kind, and devolved into drunken debauchery.

the original Landru

Of course Kirk has several good fist fights, and I think Spock pretends to "go over to the dark side," infiltrating the priestly ranks of Landru's caretakers. The usual stuff. Finally, they discover that Landru is a several thousand year old computer designed by a benevolent guy named Landru, but the computer version just keeps running the place with the same old program, the same old functions, the same old routines.

Landru

I'm working with a company right now that has a Landru in place–it's their home-grown knowledge management system. Once upon a time, their system was, like Landru, a pretty good idea–the company was smallish and growing like gangbusters and needed some kind of system for standardizing knowledge across all its parts. But now it's just freakish, and has the attendant priest class and this sort of blind adherence and loyalty, even as the rest of the world has moved onto web based KM, google, intranet 2.0, wikis and what not.

It doesn't have the one-day-a-year free-for-all, which is a shame because in this case, it might actually do them some good.
Where oh where is Captain Kirk when you need him?

kirk and team.JPG

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2 responses to “Landru

  1. Funny analogy! I remember this episode… sounds like those members of the “body” need some cowboy diplomacy… or maybe a whole lot of change management.I’ve run across a similar Landru situation… many centuries ago…our group adopted learning management system that was homegrown, and even though it’s been slated for death… it still seems to hang around like an impossible-to-destroy zombie. Worst it’s made us adapt our behaviors and approaches to course design and delivery – we do strange and contorted things to make it work. We’re trying to get rid of it, honest, but finding the time to do so and managing our customer-work has been hard. And yes, despite our “Landru” I’ve been applying wikis, Reusable Learning Object (RLO) design… all the newer stuff… sometimes under the radar.

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