I write about the things that matter to me. All opinions are my own.

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Saturday, May 7, 2016

Serve The User, Not The System

A work environment planned around human nature, human motivation, and respect for the basic needs of people will outperform any other kind of workplace hands-down. 
You don't need a Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology to know this. Yet we are still held back by the puritanical religious beliefs and harsh working conditions of yesteryear.
Even among today's enlightened executives, there is this cognitive bias that "work is not supposed to be fun," and "you're not learning anything if you're enjoying yourself too much."
The bias that says "you must suffer to be productive" explains why, for example:
  • We have a bias toward promoting workaholics who can't seem to leave the office - even to sleep.
  • IT help desks tend to blame the user, not the system, for finding it impossible to navigate the most basic tasks without assistance.
  • The educational system overwhelmingly relies on memorizing and grades, rather than critical analysis and narrative evaluations.
I have to ask: Why should the workplace, school or any place be designed for the convenience of the system, rather than the person? How is that logical or productive?
In a world plagued by so many genuine problems, the focus of our energy ought to be growing talented people such that they can get together and solve them.
Not on serving colossal systems that do little more than beat people into shame and submission.
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All opinions are my own and do not represent those of any other individual, organization, federal agency or the government as a whole. Photo credit: Cris via Flickr (Creative Commons).