Building Everlasting Systems

My dad once told me, as usual, about some management / business book he was reading. He said something about building a 'Human Independent Systems'. As the name suggests, the idea was to build systems that did not depend on humans. It's an interesting thing because at one hand we know that it really is not effective if system comes down because of one person. And although having a non-human system is…. well non-human! So usually organizations make a system and rules to force everyone to follow it. As the time goes on, the people change and it becomes more of a ritual than a system. People begin to question and so more rules come in place to keep it as it is. More money, time and effort is spent on maintaining an old & ineffective system that really no one gets because it was built to tackle different problems to begin with. Here is a better idea! While you give them the system, give them the reasons too. Tell them "why" it's so because some of them are going to question it anyways. Most organization don't do that to avoid the debate. But think about it - as the system get's old without questing you will be wasting a lot to keep it in place. 5 hours a week* is a good deal to keep renewing the system and not loosing productivity to half in next 5 years (or 5 weeks if things move fast). Let them know why and give their thoughts. Let it evolve for people, they know themselves better than you do. Doctors know why they wash hands, and they find ever new ways to improve on system to do it better. Teachers don't know why they teach trigonometry and students don't know why they learn it. Billions are spent in doing that and yet no innovation, no improvement. Conclusion: The only way to keep a system going on is to let the system followers keep evolving it. *5 Hours a week not as in you do a 5 hour meeting every week - it's sum of all the 5 min you might spend talking about it during causal chats all along the day.
Photo by ragingtornado

You are reading a post that I wrote a long time back—at least 14 years ago. Take it with a bag of salt.

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