I'm on a TED kick - obviously. I'll put up the blog post I meant to today, this weekend related to love/relationships (yes, back to one of my favorite topics). This TED podcast, "Practical Wisdom" by Barry Schwartz is related to my other post titled "I am Worthy" and the keys to happiness - so I had to share.
In this podcast, Barry makes a passionate call for "practical wisdom" to our society that has been overrun by bureaucracy especially with the latest economic failures around the globe. We've too often taken the "easy way", turning off our critical thinking skills and doing what is expected, what is easiest, or what is most self-serving. Now, we're trying to "fix" everything with rules and incentives, and as Barry says, "rules often fail us... incentives backfire,... [and it is only through] practical wisdom [that we will be able to] rebuild our world.
Our rules and incentives need to be flexible, to take in exceptions, to remain true to what the intent and vision of why they exist in the first place. Rules and incentives affect real people - with real lives and stories. In the worlds of government, health, education, relationships, and business - let's not forget that. I've worked in too many companies that claim to care about the people - but are way too rigid to "walk the talk". Customers and employees are real people - each one with a different real life story. Rules/incentives are guidelines. Take the time to understand the people that are affected by the rules/incentives. Are you encouraging empathy and compassion for your people/clients/customers...? Are your people empowered to be virtuous and do the right thing? Rules/incentives are meant to be bent - and really serve the people they affect.