The Rationality of Taking the Scenic Route

I have worked with optimization all my professional career, but it has never been a part of the job-title

Trimaran from Bali, Indonesia. Photo by Kadek Sutawa, Unsplash

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why”

How we go about finding this purpose, when we find it, if we find it is completely individual. Maybe the journey to find purpose is its own purpose? This wonderful and messy human condition, so full of uncertainty and unknown paths, keeps many people busy and is great for business if you are selling management or self-help books, coaching, therapy etc.

From his perspective our choice was completely irrational and the level of irrationality could be calculated and measured.

And he was right, of course. But so were we, because we followed our own rationality and chose the scenic route and the experience, which had a far higher value to us. Our talk with the landlord was a typical clash between personal rationality and business rationality and we earned the right to call ourselves “orang gila” — crazy man.

  • Purpose
  • Leadership
  • Technology

Because when we do, it turns out that most of us actually have the possibility to have a positive impact!

Leadership is a battlefield (much like love, thank you, Pat Benatar) with constantly changing conditions. Leaders matter in making a difference and the right leadership at the right time can make that dent in the universe, that people want to be a part of, both on the inside and the outside. Other leaders seem to prefer a more meteor-like impact with devastating impact on their organisations. Leaders, who prefer the more positive impact, need to pay attention to the balance between corporate rationality and personal rationality. Technology and processes play a significant role in helping (or preventing) people in performing in organisations. This brings us back to optimization. When it comes to technology, there is often a too heavy focus on efficiency. This is understandable. It supports coporate objectives and it is easy to calculate and measure the level of rationality, in other words, how much money can be saved. But it misses the value of the scenic route. The value of the scenic route is much harder to assess. How will the experience improve performance and create value. Having the courage and foresight to shape processes and technology around not only efficiency, but rather the full impact, unlocks the value tied in misalignment of rationality.

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Niklas Hall

Passionate about entrepreneurship, diversity, lifelong learning and experimenting. And books.