It’s Not What you Think

Conversations Matter More than Clicks

Humans have a tendency to seek patterns. We refer to this life-saving trait as narrative bias. Life is messy, and we want to clean it up (this reminds me of a famous TV ad). Hence why it's easy to grab for a neat explanation, the tipping point, the moment you see beyond the peak and behind the wall, or turn a corner.

But in real life, it is near impossible to find the crucial decision that led to an epic win or system failure.

Yet, we reach out for compelling stories or a neat narrative that tucks warts and deviations under a linear presentation. The good vs. evil contrast-type posts do very well in social media. They give you little bits that are more memorable. Not to mention emotionally satisfying. 

We look for the trigger that creates the collapse (or escalation), instead of paying attention to the thousands other factors that created the conditions for the compounding to take place. The information ecosystem is filled with examples of "single event explanations" that upon closer investigation are the result of countless interactions.

People want to believe, hence stop looking into things. WeWork and Uber are examples of unsustainable businesses weaving a compelling narrative. The implosion of Theranos is a cautionary tale for investors that if a story is too good to be true, you should do the due diligence work. Enron fraud, Madoff Ponzi, the Great Financial Crisis are examples of systemic problems nobody really looked into until it was too late. 

Stressors are a sign of a changing environment.
They create a growing imperative
to reconsider
your behavior choices. 

If we are to create a more equitable and fair future of work, the advantage is in lighting many fires. Doing many things right-er. Creating fewer problems. Making more decisions based on diversity of signals vs. the evidence that votes for us. Talking more about what is wrong while we work on making it better.

Having been “Made in Italy” and growing up in Emilia Romagna, at a time of great rebuilding thanks to a generation scorched by WWII, I was supremely lucky. I witnessed and experienced the benefits of balance to society. It’s possible. But we need to replace the current narrative that is keeping us stuck. 

Europeans have long had a more nuanced view of economic growth in the context of society. There's a slightly different interpretation of governance in Europe. For an example of application, thinks about privacy laws. Further, European culture is still more closely connected to the archetypes of social connection and the value of relationships.

Nuance is what you get when you work with a more experienced professional and leader. It is a place of maturity. If we really want to grow, perhaps it's time to grow up.


This note provided context to this.

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