IT Management

A Philosophical Approach to ‘Someone Else’s Problem

Somebody Else’s Issue

From Wikipedia:

Douglas Adams’s 1982 unique Life, deep space and Whatever ( in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy funny sci-fi series) presents the concept of an “SEP field” as a type of masking gadget. The character Ford Prefect states,

An SEP is something we can’t see, or do not see, or our brain does not let us see, due to the fact that we believe that it’s someone else’s issue. That’s what SEP suggests. Someone Else’s Issue. The brain simply modifies it out, it resembles a blind area.

The narrative then discusses:

The Someone Else’s Issue field … counts on individuals’s natural predisposition not to see anything they do not wish to, weren’t anticipating, or can’t describe. If Effrafax had actually painted the mountain pink and set up a low-cost and easy Someone Else’s Issue field on it, then individuals would have strolled past the mountain, round it, even over it, and just never ever have actually discovered that the important things existed.

This can be described by cognitive predispositions such as negligence loss of sight and modification loss of sight. However how do you describe the event of such cognitive predispositions in organisations?

I’m psychologically checking out the connection in between this as an outcome of the balance in between specifying a function plainly to assist people comprehend what to do while likewise not specifying it too stiff so that you restrict discovering, expedition and play. The factor for this is due to the fact that the method the organisation looks and runs today is how it has actually been developed. Oftentimes not completely purposeful, however nonetheless developed.


If we take a look at the quadrant listed below left wing, we want a high level of autonomy and a high level of positioning to run in the quadrant that will make the company appropriate to handle and resolve intricate issues. I would think about the impacts of an increasing level of function description to make you roam according to the quadrant on the right.


The arrows suggest the instructions with an increasing level of description, i.e. more comprehensive description. Despite the fact that we take a trip on both measurements, autonomy and positioning, I would argue that offered a consistent level of positioning this is the result from changing the level of information in function descriptions. Suggesting that you require to discover the “Sugary food Area” to remain within the wanted quadrant. There will definitely be a complicated interaction in between variables to make this balancing act much more tough.

Complex Systems

If you have a complicated system, computational intricacy theory has actually revealed that an excellent method to rapidly discover as a brand-new representative in the system is through replica knowing, imitating other representatives’ habits. This stresses the value of good example, given that companies are intricate systems including individuals.

Likewise thinking about Linus’s law: “offered enough eyeballs all bugs are shallow”. Which describes Linus Torvalds stating that any software application bug will be comprehended and resolved if you permit adequate individuals to take a look at it, which is a core concept behind open source code. What does this relate to companies? Software application are intricate adaptive systems, like companies. The issues companies deal with is of a complicated nature and the exact same level of variety is required to come up with the very best options at any given minute, within the context the company is running, like with making software application bugs shallow.

To allow this to take place (purposeful option of words) you require to develop the environment where the probability of it occurring is as high as possible, i.e. creating your company and the habits within. A crucial element of this is the function descriptions. Function descriptions that enable variety in behaviour and promote good example. Not looking for compliance and conformity.

I will consider this my intellectual kick-off for 2020 and likewise a pointer for myself that I ought to be much better with recommendations.

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