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Behavioral Inertia

betasam (713798) writes | more than 7 years ago

Editorial 2

From my last entry, I am starting a series of journal entries on my views of Organisational behaviour based on the observations at my workplace. Over the past month we have had repeated meetings on how we have to avoid ad hoc work methods and start doing things with better planning and predictability. This move was taken after having experienced a tumult of anomalies (inclined to the negative) that affected our work. After having taken assertive decisions (definitely from my sideFrom my last entry, I am starting a series of journal entries on my views of Organisational behaviour based on the observations at my workplace. Over the past month we have had repeated meetings on how we have to avoid ad hoc work methods and start doing things with better planning and predictability. This move was taken after having experienced a tumult of anomalies (inclined to the negative) that affected our work. After having taken assertive decisions (definitely from my side), we set on a course of systematic working. We shed our human skins as much as we could, to act as cogs in clockwork. It worked really well, while we were at it. Everything was more predictable (one does not snare chaos in ignorance) and went on fine.

Just yesterday, we had one more development milestone reached. Immediately, having been accompanied by a few more problems; the team we are interacting with returned to their human vagaries. It showed me a clear picture of how a small set of variables influencing a situation, either when it turns positive of overtly negative can set back a group to an old unorganised behavioral mode. They have gone back on assertions decided a month back on how uncertainty should be avoided as to the procurement of some software tools related to our work. They are just happy with what they have. I call this the ever-present scotoma of the human race.

I have a friend of mine, who used to keep telling me that, "People may change the way they appear to behave, but they can never change the way they actually behave." I have just seen that happen again . The only consolation I have is that, I also fall within a similar category of suffering from behavioral inertia. I act with fiery assertion (labeled by some as anger with veracity; dubbed a self-destructive trait.) I shall have to ensure that history doesn't repeat itself. The very statement that "history repeats itself", is based on human behavioral inertia that gravitates towards certain practices that are deep-rooted in our psyche. The only way for positive growth is to learn to unlearn . The lack of growth seen in many countries, tribes, groups and communities is a simple example of the lack of this ability. The lack of not being able to solve problems without violence (strictly an instinctive primate trait) is ever prevalent with mankind today.

So, my future with my present organisation is closely linked to my ability to change behaviour and add more predictability in actions and their outcomes. To do this, I need to be most assertive to avoid being trampled by the behavioral inertia that looms over like a shadow without no bounds. At least today, I believe this is possible; and shall work.

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2 comments

It might not work. (1)

Bright Apollo (988736) | more than 7 years ago | (#18037470)

I'm not seeing your project plan for yourself, to change this behavior.

I'm willing to participate in the experiment, though.

Outline a 30- or 45-day project plan for changing a single behavior. List all of the milestone, deliverables, and dependencies. Put meeting notices for review on it as well (you and I will meet, unless you can enlist others in the experiment). We'll promise to work the project plan, and attend a post-project review (post-mortem) of our project to disseminate lesson learned and so forth.

In other words, let's see if project planning can be applied to a single behavior, and make the change stick. I chose 30/45 days because anecdotal evidence suggests 30 days but 45 days is, in my personal experience, a better length due to the extra 45 days of reinforcement.

Accept?

-BA

Re:It might not work. (1)

betasam (713798) | more than 7 years ago | (#18090876)

I do believe it would work, at least definitely in the case of the individual. The organization, though becomes a complex system with variables making it behave in ways that cannot be modeled. Predictive planning, I agree is a control-oriented approach. My approach to behavioral change is to start with being the scribe, recording what happens. On that basis, decide activities that will in fact help define goals that can be realized.

Of course, one more person trying it would probably validate whether behavioral inertia can be countered with Planning, irrespective of the tools used. It has worked for me to change my sleep cycle to strictly become Solar moving away from the Night time when, I have so long found dwelling. It has also helped me in the meanwhile to change many aspects of my behavior in being more predictable for those who depend on my adherence to time-lines. The simplification of the goal should help anyone achieve it. I do see the possibility that it will continue to work. One may only contend that it works better in some cases than in others, but nevertheless it would have to work.

Behavioral adherence needs planning and as you say dedication to follow that for a reasonable period of time. This period, I am willing to try out in myself to change something that I haven't worked on till now. I shall then get to revisit the status of the change at an appointed time, exactly a month from now (21-Mar-2007). If you are participating in a similar experiment, then perhaps it shall help to look at the same from two perspectives. We do understand that the goal is to change a behavior by using the tools of Project management over a reasonable duration, and to test whether this holds good beyond the period of having applying the tools. Perhaps your contention is that adherence to the behavioral change would depend on how deep-rooted the behavior was before the tool was applied.
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