What comes to mind when I ask, "what is the opposite of wisdom?" The first thing that came to my mind was foolishness. But I have had to back track and reconsider. The first thing we need to do is define our terms. Wisdom has different uses and different meanings in different parts of the Old Testament. What we are most interested in is the wisdom discussed by Solomon and mentioned in Proverbs and Psalms. This has been defined as -"the art of reaching one's end by the use of the right means" (Smend). Godly wisdom would be "achieving the purposes of God in God's ways." Foolishness can be defined as a "Void of understanding or sound judgment; weak in intellect; applied to general character."
Frederick Herzberg was a psychologist who did a lot of work on motivation. He developed research on what motivates us and what can demotivate us. What he discovered was that what motivates us does not necessarily demotivate us in its absence and visa-versa. For instance (see chart) having a sense of achievement can be very motivating, but not having a great sense of achievement is not necessarily demotivating to the same degree. Which brings us back to wisdom. The absence of wisdom is not necessarily foolishness. In fact I would argue that the vacuum left by a lack of wisdom leads to rules and regulations (see previous post). If we cannot count on people doing the right thing then we need to put into place rules to ensure they will do the right thing. The problem, of course, is that we will never be able to put enough rules into place to ensure the right thing is done. When rules replace wisdom the absurd replaces the obvious (see Barry Schwartz). Decisions are no longer guided by common sense and wisdom but by fear of the consequences for not keeping the rules.
Nordstrom Rules: Rule #1: Use best judgment in all situations. No other rules!
I think will rewrite the ICM rules:
Rule #1: Use Godly wisdom in all situations. There are no need for any other rules!