The implosion of the once disciplined, now desperate GOP has important but brutal lessons for organizations and individuals affected by change. In the influential NEW YORK Magazine, John Heilmann refers to this phenomenon as "Gopocalyse."
There are no elephants in the room on this one. All the mistakes are in clear view.
At the top of the list is how easy it has been for the GOP to migrate from feeling naked without a winning formula to panic. In her book "Confidence," Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter fingered panic as the reason why organizations descend into a downward trajectory and can't pull out of that force field.
That's because those in a panic can't follow the fundamental of game theory. That is, observe your opponents's moves or what your best guess is and then from there determine your own. Instead the moves are self-referential. Politico A blasts Politico B, all done in isolation.
Secondly, desperation looks awful. That's exactly why displaced lawyers perform poorly in interviews for whatever. They come across just as they are: congealed into a ball of fear.
Third, united we stand, divided we fall. Those not desperate have their wits about them to build bridges with anyone who can be useful, enemies included. The women's movement had a severe setback when it became divided on the alternate sex issue. Fights consume too much oxygen.
How to transform desperation into something, anything else? The best insight comes from the days when test pilots were trying to break the sound barrier. Most went into a panic during the process and over-corrected how they were operating the plane. They died. Chuck Yaeger, who did accomplish it, did so and lived to tell the tale because he passed out. Therefore, explains Tara Brach in book "Radical Acceptance," he was in no position to over-correct. He did nothing.
All of us who feel desperate - and that often happens hourly - might embrace the wisdom of not doing anything. Observe what's unfolding, the moves of others, and then calmly align our own moves to outfox theirs. The term for that is "making it up." For us humans, who crave certainty, that hasn't been wired into our genes.