Reasonable Person Model business presentation (with notes)

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The sociological health-centric Reasonable Person Model as it applies to increasing productivity in the workplace, in annotated PDF form for presenters

The sociological health-centric Reasonable Person Model as it applies to increasing productivity in the workplace, in annotated PDF form for presenters

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  • 1. 1  
  • 2. •  Everyone  has  a  mental  map  of  how  the  world  works  –  map  of  ideas  rather  than   loca8ons.  If  these  maps  do  not  overlap  sufficiently  between  workers,  coopera8on   will  suffer,  team  projects  will  take  longer,  and  produc8vity  will  suffer   •  It  is  worth  no8ng  that  this  is,  essen8ally,  the  ideal  scenario;  you  can  shape  your   employees  mental  models  to  fit,  but  only  to  a  certain  extent,  as  ideas  and   preconcep8ons  are  shaped  by  all  of  life  –  and  while  viewpoints  and  though   processes  need  to  overlap  enough  for  shared  goals,  methods,  and  communica8on   across  the  team,  lack  of  overlap  can  bring  poten8ally  valuable  fresh  ideas  in   2  
  • 3. •  Your  goal  is  to  be  in  the  yellow  sec8on  of  this  pie  chart,  but  leave  enough  leeway   in  those  guidelines  to  allow  for  differences  between  employees  –  have  enough  of  a   procedure  when  orien8ng  new  employees  that  everyone  has  the  same  key   informa8on  about  the  company,  their  jobs,  and  the  significance  thereof,  but   remember  that  everybody’s  mental  map  is  different,  and  the  point  of  orienta8on   is  to  expand  that  map  so  it  overlaps  with  everybody  else’s;  as  such,  you’ll  need  to   vary  orienta8on  to  connect  where  they  are  now  mentally  with  where  you  need   them  to  be  mentally   •  don’t  just  show  employees  their  cubicles  and  how  to  do  what  is  expected  of  them.   Take  the  8me  to  explain  the  organiza8on  and  how  their  work  maJers  to  the  big   picture  –  make  sure  they  understand  the  context  in  which  their  work  is  important,   rather  than  just  what  their  work  is   3  
  • 4. •  Absolutely  vital  to  orienta8on  and  avoidance  of  problems  ranging  from   inconvenience  to  disaster   •  Illustrated  is  the  Mars  Climate  Orbiter,  intended  to  orbit  Mars  and  take  climate   data.  Less  than  five  minutes  aQer  entering  Mars’  orbit,  it  fell  down  to  Mars,   disintegra8ng  in  the  process,  losing  NASA  $274  million  in  today’s  dollars.  Cause  of   failure:  mostof  the  systems  onboard  had  been  programmed  to  calculate  in  metric,   while  onehad  been  programmed  to  calculate  in  Imperial  –  in  essence,  some  of  the   engineers  working  on  it  were  using  one  set  of  language,  and  the  rest  were  using   another.     •  Obviously,  this  is  a  worst-­‐case  scenario  of  the  consequences  of  failing  to  make  sure   everyone  uses  the  same  language,  but  it  is  nevertheless  a  vivid  illustra8on  of  what   can  happen  when  mental  models  do  not  overlap  on  language.  Always  make  sure   new  employees  know  all  the  relevant  jargon,  acronyms,  and  terms  –  give  them  a   cheat  sheet  if  need  be,  or  encourage  them  to  write  their  own.   4  
  • 5. •  There  are  fundamentally  two  kinds  of  aJen8on:  directed  and  involuntary   •  Directed  aJen8on,  the  sort  needed  for  work,  is  inherently  limited     •  Result:  Near-­‐universal  problem  of  late  aQernoon  exhaus8on,  lethargy,   irritability,  need  for  endless  stream  of  coffee  even  when  technically  well   rested  and  not  physically  exerted   •  Studies  have  shown  that  engaging  in  involuntary  aJen8on,  most  par8cularly   relaxa8on  in  what  is  perceived  as  a  natural  seng,  can  recharge  directed   aJen8on,  increasing  produc8vity   5  
  • 6. There  are  several  ways  companies  can  provide  such  produc8vity-­‐enhancing  sengs   •  Sponsor  a  nearby  public  park   •  Have  greenery  and  benches  nearby  your  building  in  lieu  of  a  larger  parking   lot,  if  your  business  property  is  big  enough  to  allow  for  such   •  Consider  a  rooQop  garden  if  local  property  setup  or  costs  prohibit  either  of   the  others   •  Furthermore,  try  to  have  something  nature-­‐like  visible  from  office  windows.  If  the   distracted  person  in  the  previous  slide  is  going  to  look  around  in  distrac8on,  it’s   beJer  to  have  something  known  to  recharge  his  directed  aJen8on  in  his  field  of   view  so  looking  around  serves  to  get  him  back  to  work  and  work  harder,  rather   than  serving  as  a  waste  of  8me   •  This  is,  of  course,  a  func8on  of  where  your  office  is,  what  8me  of  year,  and  the   neighborhood.  Be  reasonable  –  encourage  employees  to  have  lunch  in  the  park   whenever  prac8cal,  but  if  the  weather  is  20˚  below  zero,  any  form  of   encouragement  saying  that  will  make  you  seem  out  of  touch   6  
  • 7. •   An  employee  that  feels  like  a  cog  in  the  machine  isn’t  mo8vated,  and  produc8vity   suffers   •  There  is  an  important  dis8nc8on  between  par3cipa3on  and  control.  People  want   to  feel  like  they  have  had  a  meaningful  effect  on  their  surroundings  –  but  they  also   don’t  want  the  responsibility  and  stress  of  having  control  over  final  ac8on  and   decisionmaking  process   •  This  dovetails  nicely  with  the  managerial  need  to  make  decisions  for  the  group  for   efficacy.     •  The  trick,  then,  is  to  make  them  feel  like  they  have  a  say,  without  delega8ng   responsibili8es  to  them.  Be  careful  to  be  respeceul,  rather  than  condescending,  in   this-­‐employees  are  smart  enough  to  spot  transparent  ploys,  and  will  suffer   mo8va8on  loss  as  a  result   7  
  • 8. •  Ties  directly  into  the  importance  of  communica8on  I  men8oned  earlier.  Don’t  be   afraid  to  take  sugges8ons  –  and  don’t  be  afraid  to  explain  the  reasons  said   sugges8ons  may  not  work  –  make  it  a  discussion.  If  your  explana8on  for  why  their   contribu8on  is  impossible  is  just  a  sentence  or  two,  they  may  come  out  feeling  you   aren’t  telling  them  the  whole  story.   •  Try  to  set  aside  part  of  at  least  one  mee8ng  a  week  for  sugges8ons  and   concerns  –  just  remember  to  make  it  a  real  discussion;  if  they’re  talking  to   a  wall,  you’re  hur8ng,  not  helping  produc8vity   •  Always  take  concerns  by  employees  into  account  –  don’t  guarantee  that  you  will   agree  with  their  concerns,  but  agree  that  you  will  listen  and  consider  them/   Remember  that  Mars  satellite  disaster  I  men8oned?  There  were  several  operators   who  no8ced  the  problem  once  the  project  was  heavily  underway,  but  whose   concerns  about  soQware  compa8bility  were  ignored.  This  illustrates  the  win-­‐win   nature  of  listening  to  employee  concerns.     8