By Don Norman – We have unwittingly accepted the paradigm that technology comes first, with people relegated to doing the actions that the machines cannot do. This requires people to act like machines, ever ready to take over when things go wrong.
As a result, we require people to do tedious, repetitive tasks, to be alert for long periods, ready to respond at a moment’s notice: all things people are bad at doing. When the inevitable errors and accidents occur, people are blamed for “human error.” The view is so prevalent that many times the people involved blame themselves, saying things like “I knew better” or “I should have paid more attention,” not recognizing that the demands of the technology made these errors inevitable.
We need to switch from a technology-centric view of the world to a people-centric one. We should start with people’s abilities and create technology that enhances people’s capabilities: Why are we doing it backwards?
We have turned the positive trait of curiosity into two negative ones. One is that of distraction, leading to accidents; the other is that of following the trails on enticement leading to addiction. We have our priorities completely wrong. more>
Posted in Book review, Business, Economy, Education, Product, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Curiosity, Human error, Human trait, Jobs, Technology
Gridlock: Why Global Cooperation is Failing when We Need It Most, Authors: Thomas Hale, David Held, Kevin Young.
By David Held – The crisis of contemporary democracy has become a major subject of political commentary. But the symptoms of this crisis, the vote for Brexit and Trump, among other things, were not foreseen. Nor were the underlying causes of this new constellation of politics.
The virtuous circle between deepening interdependence and expanding global governance could not last because it set in motion trends that ultimately undermined its effectiveness.
There are four reasons for this or four pathways to gridlock: rising multipolarity, harder problems, institutional inertia, and institutional fragmentation. Each pathway can be thought of as a growing trend that embodies a specific mix of causal mechanisms.
To manage the global economy, reign in global finance, or confront other global challenges, we must cooperate. But many of our tools for global policy making are breaking down or prove inadequate – chiefly, state-to-state negotiations over treaties and international institutions – at a time when our fates are acutely interwoven.
The result is a dangerous drift in global politics punctuated by surges of violence and the desperate movement of peoples looking for stability and security. more>
Posted in Banking, Book review, Broadband, Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, Energy & emissions, Healthcare, History, Leadership, Media, Net, Science, Technology
Tagged Banking reform, Capital, Congress Watch, Crisis, Globalization, Government, Leadership, Super regions, Technology
The Tyranny of Metrics, Author: Jerry Z Muller.
By Jerry Z Muller – More and more companies, government agencies, educational institutions and philanthropic organisations are today in the grip of a new phenomenon. I’ve termed it ‘metric fixation’.
The key components of metric fixation are the belief that it is possible – and desirable – to replace professional judgment (acquired through personal experience and talent) with numerical indicators of comparative performance based upon standardized data (metrics); and that the best way to motivate people within these organizations is by attaching rewards and penalties to their measured performance.
The rewards can be monetary, in the form of pay for performance, say, or reputational, in the form of college rankings, hospital ratings, surgical report cards and so on. But the most dramatic negative effect of metric fixation is its propensity to incentivize gaming: that is, encouraging professionals to maximize the metrics in ways that are at odds with the larger purpose of the organization. more>
Posted in Book review, Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, Leadership
Tagged Business improvement, culture, Jobs, Leadership, Organization, Performance management
By Mark Penn – The United States of America is creeping toward creating a more imperfect union, one dominated by the power of the online mob that is threatening to disassemble more than 200 years of learning.
It was in “Federalist 10” that James Madison, the father of the Constitution, discussed the human tendency to divide into factions, which he defined as groups of people “who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens” and to the community. He warned how the zeal for certain government policies, for passionate leaders and for different religions could lead us to a society inflamed “with mutual animosities.”
Welcome to America 2018. Madison’s solution then was to tame the forces of the moment through a republic as opposed to a pure democracy.
This is done by electing the people’s representatives from across the country who would be more sensible and objective. They would face periodic elections, but were to be freed from the easily inflamed mobs that would be quick to trample the rights of others.
But in the modern age, as I document in “Microtrends Squared,” people are increasingly divided into factions, and whether it is through their news channels or their Twitter feeds, the ability to whip up crowds quickly and with slanted information has never been easier, or more dangerous. Forget about the Russians dividing us, we have to worry about us Americans doing the job of tearing the nation apart. more>
Posted in Book review, Business, CONGRESS WATCH, Economy, Education, History, Leadership, Media, Net
Tagged Congress Watch, culture, Democracy, factionalism, Federalist Society, Government, Leadership