Monday, January 18, 2016

Why you are making things worse.

Seriously. What is it with people?
Everywhere I go I meet people who want to change something and make it worse in the end. Some logic.

Some people have the tendency to fix what's right in front of them without understanding the underlying system. What happens is that the problem seems to go away, right away, but pops up somewhere else in the system. Sometimes even worse, much worse than before.

"Why did that happen? "

Because you are too busy trying to "look" like you are solving something rather than to solve something and sometimes you want to just get is out of the way, get it over with, get recognised for fixing a lot of things.

Whatever it may be, once you notice people doing it, you will find people doing it everywhere. Especially in workplaces imo.

It's called:

A naive intervention. 

That's what you get when you prioritize fixing something as fast as possible over making a sustainable and reliable change. But hey, the former looks cooler, right? It's all about how it looks, right?

That naive intervention can only cause problems for the people that come after you and you can always blame other people for the mess you left behind. It takes a while sometimes for the bad stuff to happen.

It seems more productive to me to take some extra time to make a change that is sustainable and ecological instead of having to fix a lot more after the quick fix. Seems like double work to me.
It costs more time and money in the end.

Think about it for a second, maybe some changes aren't necessary at all. Maybe intervening on a micro level every time something or somebody makes an error can make it worse.

How much do people learn when we take over every time that person makes a mistake? Zero.
You don't only take away the learning but also the will to learn. Let people learn.
Also, recognize self-rebalancing and self-correcting systems.
Micromanagement destroys more than that it contributes.

I have a great personal affection for 

silent heroes. 

Those are true heroes that go unrecognized most of the time. 

Those people save thousands of dollars or euros by NOT doing something. By recognising the risks.
Who can you thank that decided not to do something and saved you a lot of money, time or any other resource? 

Those are the people that save lives by NOT doing anything overhastily and risking lives.
It's a different kind of saving lives. Thanks to everybody who didn't rush to conclusions.
Maybe we need more of those people that are so close to a single red button that says "nuke them", if you know what I mean. 

What about the scientists that find that something is NOT true. Scientists that didn't find something they were looking for? Thank you too! Now we know where not to look and the search narrows down. Not finding something is as important as finding something in science. 

But those heroes don't make the news. They don't get published. They don't get headlines. They often go unrecognised. They walk among us. We do not recognise the immense value they have and we do not thank them enough.

Thank you! 

What can we learn from silent heroes? How can we improve how we make changes? How does it change how we think about risk and reward? 

We all like social approval and we all like that things get fixed as soon as possible. 

We must stay alert if we don't want to get fooled, by ourselves and by what lies directly in front of us.

Stay alert!