About 80% of Close Doors buttons on lifts don’t work. They’re not even wired.

That’s tough news to take. I push them all the time, looking for that six extra seconds before the doors … hang on … there you go.  I’ve always had doubts but my control bias kicks into play and hey, I’ll take a placebo if it makes me feel better.

RadioLab’s Buttons podcast broke this to me on my run.

Here’s the thought that formed at mile seven … we’re the same.

As a manager, I’ve had all kinds of systems designed to get good people to do good things. Change management systems, project management systems, personnel management systems, systems management systems. All to make things exactly as prescribed. Problem is, the more difficult the work, the less connected the buttons.

The reality – you just aren’t hooked up the way I am, or how I expect you to be. Nobody is. You’re wired slightly/incredibly differently to what I’d like. You do things your way.

Our job isn’t to find the right buttons so you close doors or open them exactly to specification, every time. It isn’t to moan that the buttons that don’t work. Not even to fix the wiring.

Our job is to work out between us how to do something together what would otherwise be impossible.