Tuesday, 19 July 2016
In the book “Originals” author Adam Grant mentioned about a unique firm. In 2010, its returns exceeded the combined profits of Google, eBay, Yahoo, and Amazon. It wasn't a tech giant; it was Bridgewater, a hedge fund that has been recognized for making more money for clients than any hedge fund in the history of the industry. Bridgewater anticipated the financial crisis, warning clients in 2007 about the impending crash. It is a 150-billion-dollar fund with 1500 employees. For 40 years, since inception it has been a top performing manager & industry innovator. The firm has received over 50 industry awards and recognitions for innovation, performance, research quality, client service, operations quality, top workplaces etc.
This 2 million times downloaded culture document summarizes the culture there.
In the above document, I found a very useful concept that can enable higher thinking:
Think of yourself as a designer of your machine. You wish it to accomplish some goal. The machine is a combination of processes, design and people, including your own self. This machine produces outcomes. By comparing the outcomes with the goal, you can tweak the machine till it produces desired outcomes.
You have 2 roles in this machine. You(1) and You(2):
You(1) is the designer, observer of the machine, who thinks of the whole system with a higher perspective. He/She includes 1st, 2nd and 3rd order consequences in the plan.
You(2) is the emotional, active player, executor. He/She thinks of only self, has a short term perspective and is mainly concerned about 1st order level consequences.
Here are some examples of the order of consequences:
- 1st order consequence of waking up and going for exercise is discomfort of leaving your bed & sleep. 2nd order consequence is you feel good after the exercise. 3rd order consequence is your health is better.
- 1st order consequence of eating a favourite meal is the instant gratification. 2nd order consequence is how we feel when after eating it. 3rd order consequence is the impact on health.
- 1st order consequence of shouting at someone who made a mistake is the instant release of anger & frustration. 2nd order consequence is the person feels demotivated. 3rd order consequence may be increased attrition or team’s non-performance.
You(2) is active most of the time. The trick is to keep you(1) awake and include 1-2-3 order consequences.
Most conflicts persist because of you(2) to you(2) level conversations among people, both parties only thinking of self and 1st order consequences.
During a confrontation, pointing out someone’s mistake, expressing disagreement etc., if we can ensure that we are at you(1) level addressing the other person also at his you(1) level, the conversation would be very fruitful.
May this mail take your interactions & thinking to a new level.