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Human Dimension

The Human Dimension is probably the trickiest aspect of our lives, both personally and professionally.  On the home front, the high divorce rate in our country is a testament to that.  On the job front, the high percentage of disengaged employees (roughly 70%) is a pretty good indicator.

There are three aspects of the Human Dimension that I feel have a dramatic impact on the high business failure rate.

  1. Every person matters.  Employees aren’t just a number in the headcount.  When we look at them that way, we lose sight of their humanity and they lose trust in us as employers.
  2. How we interact and treat each other really matters.  For example, words do hurt us.  Through the advances in neuroscience, scientists have discovered that the brain reacts in much the same way when someone says hurtful things to us, as it does when someone actually hits us…
  3. Cognitive Biases tricks us into thinking we’re right when we’re actually wrong!  I know you’re thinking that this can’t be true, but it is…  It’s one reason they haven’t been able to build a computer that replicates how the human mind works.  Our minds use shortcuts and filters prevent us from constantly feeling data overload in our everyday lives.  It’s the reason eye witness accounts of a single event vary so much.  When you consider how many way there are for us to get things wrong, it’s a miracle that we get anything right!  One article identified:
    1. 19 Social Biases
    2. 42 Decision Biases
    3. 8 Memory Biases
    4. 36 Probability/Belief Biases

To demonstrate the importance of the Human Dimension, Forbes published and article with this quote from Gallup CEO Jim Clifton:  “…The single biggest decision you make in your job – bigger than all of the rest – is who you name manager.  When you name the wrong person manager, nothing fixes that bad decision.  Not compensation, not benefits – nothing.”

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