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The habit of thinking in scale

There's rarely scale between cause and effect, or problem and solution.

15th December 2011

One of the reasons that conspiracy theories arise is because people struggle to believe that large unforeseen (and often disasterous) events can be without a cause of a similar scale. There must be more to this than it appears, right?

This search for parity of force blinds us and often restricts our thinking. If there's a big problem or issue, surely we need to be looking for a big solution; a new computer system is needed to deal with this, we need more people or eight days in the week. The restructure of a whole department is required or - much worse - the belief that this is all now beyond us (these self-limiting beliefs are more common than you'd ever imagine).

The good news though is that almost always there's little parity between the sizes of issues and the actions required to eliminate or reduce them. A few simple steps or procedures can often produce huge changes in the efficiencies and happiness (motivation) of staff and teams.

Breaking down this thinking in your own mind is one thing. Breaking it down for your staff and your managers takes leadership. Getting them to believe, to act in new ways and constantly evaluate the culture that they're affecting.

Therein, of course, lies your challenge.


(Footnotes: 1, Sometimes this imbalance can mean that for a small outcome you'll need/have a large cause; one to ponder. 2, See here for more on causality.

Tagged under: Leadership, Motivation

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