You planned out the last curriculum you delivered so meticulously you wondered if you were becoming neurotic. Yet you still missed meeting the expectations of some of your learners and some of the executives who charged you with the development task. Could it be time for a new approach?
David Marx, author of the just-released "Whack-a-Mole: The Price We Pay For Expecting Perfection," says we need to re-think how we design systems and hold each other accountable.
Marx says he has been an observer of, and advisor to, "high-consequence" industries around the world for nearly 30 years. That experience, he explains, convinced him we've taken a bad turn with our preoccupation with perfection. "We are expecting more," says Marx, "and getting less."
In "Whack-a-Mole," Marx uses often-humorous stories to get his point across as he addresses regulators, attorneys, corporate CEOs, public policy makers, the media, and even parents. The book focuses on society's tendency to demonize people who make mistakes that cause harm, while at the same time taking a "no harm, no foul" approach to even reckless behaviors that cause no undesirable outcome.
"Our screwed-up notions of accountability are becoming an insurmountable barrier to better outcomes," he says. "It's simply devolved into a game of Whack-a-Mole."