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PARLIAMO DI MERITOCRAZIA

Nel 2008, appena è uscito il libro di Roger Abravanel, sono corso a comprarlo. Il mio interesse per l’argomento era tale che ho letteralmente fagocitato quel libro. Ho anche assistito ad una trasmissione televisiva sull’argomento. Per qualche mese si è avuto la sensazione che sarebbe cominciata una crociata a favore della meritocrazia, come è avvenuto nel passato per la pianificizazione strategica, per il Marketing.

Oggi se ne parla pochissimo e se lo si fa la si dà per nota, per scontata. Peggio ancora, i politici la usano demagogicamente.

Del libro di Roger Abravanel, o mister Mc Kinsey, non se ne parla più o quasi, pur avendo avuto il libro un ottimo successo. Anche l’autore ha avuto successo. Mi risulta che i test, di cui è strenuo sostenitore siano stati adottati in alcune università italiane.

Malgrado questi successi, di meritocrazia è pur vero che si continua a parlarne sempre meno. In Italia è già diventata più una affermazione demagogica che non un approccio professionale. E prima ancora di diventare un valore culturale.

Qui mi preme riportare alcune riflessioni, che mi ritornano come dei riflussi intellettuali e che vorrei costituissero sia pur piccolo contributo alla meritocrazia da condivide con chi lo vorrà.

Partiamo dalla definizione. Nel libro di Abravanel non ne ho trovate, mentre ho trovato molti riferimenti generici alla meritocrazia.  Invero mi ha colpitol’affermazione riportata secondo la

quale la meritocrazia è l’uguaglianza di fronte alle opportunità (Conant), anziché di fronte ai risultati. Nei paesi anglosassoni si fa riferimento alla prima versione mentre in europa si fa riferimento ai secondi.

Per uno come il sottoscritto che crede nella meritocrazia come criterio di valorizzazione delle prestazioni altrui, sarebbe utile saperne qualcosa di più.

Il rischio è che si passi immediatamente agli strumenti per valutare il merito prima ancora che a definirne il significato di fondo. Prendiamo un esempio, in un ristorante dove si incentivano i camerieri a vendere soprattutto la marca A lo marca B di vino chi ha più merito? Il cameriere che ha venduto più bottiglie della marca A o che ha più contribuito alla costruzione di una buona reputazione del ristorante? Ancora, in una software house nella quale si incentivino i venditori a fatturare il più possibile (the limiti s the sky!) chi è più meritevole, chi serve meglio i clienti o chi fattura di più? Qualcosa di simile si potrebbe dire anche per i test così tanto osannati da Abravanel e che hanno plasmato generazioni di suoi colleghi Partner?

I test dovrebbero selezionare i talenti dai non talenti. Ma i test non sono sufficienti per valutare l’intelligenza di un individuo. Sono un ossimoro.Tanto più che non è ancora scientificamente possibile valutare l’intelligenza di un individuo. Al massimo si giudicano la velocità di riflessi, la capacità di ragionamento, ma, ad esempio non possono valutare gli obiettivi di crescita di una persona. Né tampoco la sua onestà intellettuale.

Il problema va affrontato in modo diverso. Ad esempio, sul lavoro mi piacerebbe saper valutare le persone in funzione degli obiettivi aziendali, alle attitudini ad accettare le sfide, alla razionalità dei ragionamenti. E se considerassimo il merito come un valore etico, poi di atteggiamento, poi funzionale, ecc. Parlando con dirigente finlandese ho chiesto se ha letto il resoconto Ocse sulla preparazione scientifica degli studenti. Prima ancora che gli sottoponessi la più banale delle domande (è vero che i finlandesi sono i più preparati nelle materie scientifiche?) mi ha disarcionato prevenendomi: è solo un problema di organizzazione. Punto e basta.

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