A comment by Ian Welsh at this post: Run Everywhere, Build Everywhere:
Stirling once formulated that insiders understand pressures and the outsiders understand consequences. I’ve found the same thing at work during periods when I’ve worked closely with management – you understand how they see the world and the constraints and pressures they work under, the inside politics of the corporation and you come to understand why the things that should be done “can’t” be done.
And if you get sucked in too far you start to think that the pressures are all that matters and that how something will actually work doesn’t matter. Because if you please the right people it doesn’t really matter whether what you did is “good” by some sort of independent metric, because there is no independent metric other than what your superiors think.
But if you actually want a well run company, or a well run party, or a well run country or to be winners as a team, then the consequences matter. Of course, you may go to the floor and lose to the internal enemies (and I have done so).
The good guys don’t often win, the entrenched interests do. And people who want a political career have to understand that to get paid they need to make sure the right people like them. But that sort of cognitive dissonance is painful, so over time they come to believe the people with power are right.