Samstag, 14. Juli 2012

System reset Vs. gradual improvement

A very typical example: the new ticket system in the public transport is introduced. The authorities set a period when the controllers will not charge you fines, but only warn you. WTF?! Did people all of a sudden forget that tickets should be paid? As if we were all born on this day and we need time to adjust - well, maybe we do - but we need to know what basic procedures are to remain at all times, and what are the ones that need adjustment to. So, the basic thing would be that if you want to take a ride, you have to pay. Non-basic thing is HOW you actually pay. How does it make sense to someone that the way to educate people on how to pay the ticket is to let them not pay for it for a while? There are other ways to do it, but it's these people who think that the system reset is needed. NO! No resets, just improvements, please.

This was just an example of a mindset people have gotten used to in Serbia. Each time there is a change, the people introducing it treat it as a Revolution of epochal importance. It pretty much happens every time there's a change of government. They scrap EVERYTHING, and reset the system. Then the other guys do the same thing once they get the power, and it goes on and on ad infinitum.

It's become a way for the campaigns to be led - you always promise radical changes. You say everything is going to be soooo much better because you'll do things differently. It does kind of make sense to claim that in a country that is not doing so well, but it's also part of the problem. Once they do get elected, these people feel free to experiment by introducing new policies that have to meet only one criterium - they need to be different from existing ones. It doesn't matter if the previous policy was good, the new one just needs to be different from whatever existed before.

Again, in public transport, there is a new policy of getting in at the front door and getting out at the other ones, and it's complete bull crap. The ticketing system DOES NOT REQUIRE IT. It doesn't solve any problems, only creates more. BECAUSE, to pay, you need to hold the rfid-loaded card at the machine for several seconds, which means all the people behind you at this one door have to wait for you to do it so that they can get in (which is exactly what happened:; the passages inside the buses and trams are too narrow for people to pass, and in general, it's just straight out of some anal person's ass (nice pun). It just seemed nice and orderly to them to have people organized in this way.

What's really needed is more buses, regular schedules and some basic culture to know to let people get out, before you attempt getting in. It's not revolutionary, it's common sense, and it's an improvement that will actually solve the existing problem of over-crowded buses.

Another reason I'm against resets is because they cause significant resistance, often making rebellion against it a more rational choice than its adoption. It is a natural response to change. And it's not surprising that more often than not, these resets fail, leaving the feeling that change is not possible at all.

I like that quote:"Only babies meet change with joy, when their diapers are wet." Then, there's that experiment with the frog, when the frog sits in a pot and it's heated instantly. The frog leaps out and saves itself. But, if the pot is gradually heated, the frog won't notice until it's too late. The lack of this basic understanding in those people on how to introduce changes amazes me.

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