In Which Domain Should We Have Common Sense?

When I advocate certain healthy management practices, such as the Kudo Box, Moving Motivators, or Delegation Boards, there is always someone wondering, “Where does this apply?”

“In which domain did you try this?”

“In which kind of business do you work?”

“In what culture was the practice useful?”

I think they are the wrong questions to ask. These people seem to assume that practices that can increase an organization’s health usually have only a limited span of effectiveness. “Ah well, that can work in that industry, but I work in another industry.”


So, what about personal healthy practices?

Some people are runners. Some people are into yoga. Other people prefer swimming, they are practitioners of Pilates, or God help them, they may even like Nordic walking. And yet, I never hear people ask, “Where do these practices apply?”

“With which human races did you try swimming?”

“For which types of human bodies is yoga useful?”

“In which cultures does Pilates have an effect?”

“Surely Nordic walking only works in the Nordics?”

Obviously, these questions don’t make sense. Depending on the context we could consider the questions racist, discriminative, xenophobic, or just plain stupid. They are the social equivalent of the Not Invented Here syndrome. Really, I lack the patience to answer such questions. Either you want to be healthy, or you don’t. I don’t care.

Of course, some individuals can’t run, because they’re in a wheel chair. (Maybe they’re lucky when this also rules out Nordic walking.) Likewise, some organizations can’t implement certain healthy practices for whatever practical reasons. But you can’t rule out entire domains, industries, or cultures, claiming to be too different from the others. All organizations are social systems.

There are no “domains” in which complexity science, systems thinking, and common sense are not applicable.


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