Magical Thinking is a term that is not only used in Anthropology and Psychology, it is also found in business planning too.
The term refers to fictitious causal links between actions and events. In business you will hear it in an investment proposal when someone takes an existing market and starts the presentation with if all we did was get 1% of that… Two things, first who only wants 1% of anything? Second: 1% of a large established market is a huge and and almost impossible market share expectation without some kind of trial or proof of concept.
Warning – To What Effect?
However, sadly it also goes on in most businesses on a day to day business too, causing much trouble and strife. The well known management process is to apply pressure on the juniors that amount to impossible targets in impossible time periods.
It happens in sales and it happens in software development too. The problem is that the focus can become so concerning that so much much time is spent in worry mode, that it leaves little time for success and in this way magic thinking can really kill a business.
Often you can see from the outside when magic thinking is in play when staff are forever working long hours, with overtime and weekends stacking up, just to keep on top of things.
Eventually all those texts “one more thing to do, then I’ll be home” to loved ones require balancing and while an employer can grab time now, it must be, according to nature, balanced out at some point in the future. To what real effect?
Yet oddly businesses that practice pairing can often produce more when two people are working as a team, sharing one desk and one computer. Although hunter intuitive it means that the pair constantly check each others work.
Mistakes are quickly caught and losses quickly recovered. There is always greater understanding, two points of view, two sets of vested interests. Oddly enough, firms who try pairing report higher productivity and due to lower overtime, less cost, less burnout and a lot more happiness.
There are other ways to get more from what you have. I am in the middle of compiling a series of reports fro you that you can download here. I have just added a series of short thought provoking videos too. I will keep adding more reports to this list until there are 12, then you can expect me to start taking them away. Click here to see what is available right away.