Skip to main content

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.
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). 

Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between brand equity and brand parity?

Brand equity is a financial calculation. It is the difference between a commodity product or service and a branded one. For example if you sell a plain orange for $.50 but a Sunkist orange for $.75 and the Sunkist orange has brand equity you can calculate it at $.25 per orange.

Brand parity exists when two different brands have a relatively equal value. The reason we call it "parity" is that the basis of their value may be different. For example, one brand may be seen as higher in quality, while the other is perceived as fashionable.

All opinions my own. Originally posted to Quora. Public domain photo by hbieser via Pixabay.

What is the difference between "brand positioning," "brand mantra," and "brand tagline?"

Brand positioning statement: This is a 1–2 sentence description of what makes the brand different from its competitors (or different in its space), and compelling. Typically the positioning combines elements of the conceptual (e.g., “innovative design,” something that would be in your imagination) with the literal and physical (e.g., “the outside of the car is made of the thinnest, strongest metal on earth”). The audience for this statement is internal. It’s intended to get everybody on the same page before going out with any communication products.Brand mantra: This is a very short phrase that is used predominantly by people inside the organization, but also by those outside it, in order to understand the “essence” or the “soul” of the brand and to sell it to employees. An example would be Google’s “Don’t be evil.” You wouldn’t really see it in an ad, but you might see it mentioned or discussed in an article about the company intended to represent it to investors, influencers, etc.Br…

Nitro Cold Brew and the Oncoming Crash of Starbucks

A long time ago (January 7, 2008), the Wall Street Journal ran an article about McDonald's competing against Starbucks.
At the time the issue was that the former planned to pit its own deluxe coffees head to head with the latter.
At the time I wrote that while Starbucks could be confident in its brand-loyal consumers, the company, my personal favorite brand of all time,  "...needs to see this as a major warning signal. As I have said before, it is time to reinvent the brand — now.  "Starbucks should consider killing its own brand and resurrecting it as something even better — the ultimate, uncopyable 'third space' that is suited for the way we live now.  "There is no growth left for Starbucks as it stands anymore — it has saturated the market. It is time to do something daring, different, and better — astounding and delighting the millions (billions?) of dedicated Starbucks fans out there who are rooting for the brand to survive and succeed." Today as …