Inconvenientis and the Rise of the Shiny

“Doing things that are simple but wrong, is the symptom of a terminal case of Inconvenientis. Real work with real substance and real insight into the nuances of quality and experience is not generalisable.”

This blog post from the ComplexWales website relates to – amongst other things – healthcare (including mental healthcare), the NHS (National Health Service), wellbeing and the emerging field of complexity science.

It begins:

“I love this cartoon! It so clearly articulates what I consider to be one of the most virulent barriers to transforming organisations. This disease seems to have taken hold in many industries, but disconcertingly over the years, I’ve spotted some of the symptoms glistening across the sweaty brow of Healthcare.”

It later continues:

“Our health system is a mature and complex web of interacting people and places and purposes …

The technical term is a Complex Adaptive System. Although there is an explicit science to learn how these living systems behave, the principles and theories are completely complementary to the science of medicine, because that too is all about nurturing living systems. As a result, those immersed in the essential business of healthcare, gain deep insight and experience over many years, to understand implicitly, how to act in such systems. Empiricism at its best, perhaps …

Ironically, to a certain cadre of Lightweight Leaderist, this complexity and subsequent requirement for experiential depth, is bloody inconvenient. It creates a visceral and almost allergic condition in them, I call Inconvenientis (in-con-VEEN-ee-entis).

… These Lightweights live in the world of Work-As-Imagined rather than Work-As-Done. They imagine that doing good work is about filling in standardised action plans, predicting everything in advance and making pompous assumptions about other people. They typically spend their time usurping other people’s work to promote themselves and motivating the masses with a load of verbiage that nobody will ever read, after it’s impeccably filed. They lack an appreciation for the grit required to do real work and insist that everyone follows the management equivalent of painting by numbers.

And herein comes forth the Shiny! A suitably simple offer with a Shiny explanation, pitchable in two Shiny minutes in a lift, dressed up on Shiny slides with Shiny words lifted from the latest Shiny strategy, typed into Shiny boxes connected with Shiny arrows and sold with the fervor of the Lone Ranger crashing through a Shiny window, astride a Shiny steed with pistols full of Shiny Silver Bullets. Shiny and simple to explain and fundamentally wrong.

And we’re nicely back to that cartoon. Doing things that are simple but wrong, is the symptom of a terminal case of Inconvenientis. Real work with real substance and real insight into the nuances of quality and experience is not generalisable. Yes, there are some commonalities but the work is all about adapting, situationalising and absorbing the complexity, the diversity, the heritage and the uniqueness that makes it meaningful, to those who commit themselves and their entire careers, to one small but essential corner of the world …”

You can read more here.

Inconvenientis and the Rise of the Shiny
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