Rule followers

A hospital emergency department demands that doctors deal with 95% percent of patients within four hours. And then finds that the number of people admitted unnecessarily to hospital beds has massively increased.

A retail bank calls in to its branch managers three times a day to find out if they’ve hit their target for selling loans. And then finds out they’ve loaned to large numbers of people who could never afford to pay.

A technology help-desk demands that all queries are dealt with in under five minutes, meaning more customers are helped. And complaints go up because problems are not being solved completely.

Has it struck you that the more you try to manage us by giving us rules to follow (and this includes holding us to narrow measures that distract us from the wholeness or ultimate purpose of our work), the more you train us to be skilful rule-followers rather than people who can exercise judgement, discretion and wisdom?

What else, really, did you expect?

Photo Credit: Instant Vantage via Compfight cc

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