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The expectations that have been adapted and encouraged by our modern communication devices and systems is one of “frictionlessness.” This expectation leads to several ideas and behaviors in consequence.

The idea that ease is preferable to difficulty.

The idea that a hard solution to a problem is “bad” and that an “easy” solution is good.

The idea that soft skills “should” be obvious to all and when they aren’t, that lack of shared obviousness leads to the belief that such lack is a problem to be ruthlessly eradicated, rather than to be adapted to with grace and mercy.

The idea that if there is friction between people, ideas, or processes, something, somewhere, must have gone wrong.

This expectation of “frictionlessness” creates the environment for more friction and confusion, particularly when we engage in interpersonal interactions that are hard, full of friction, and do not have easy, light, or quick solutions.

This expectation of “frictionlessness” leads to the human, knee-jerk impulse to view people as problems, problems as virtually intractable, and tribalism as the only method to resolution.

This expectation of “frictionlessness” leads to impatience with meandering processes, lack of interest in taking time to come to a resolution, and a species of arrogance that leads to seeing other people not as humans with their own story and humanity, but as mere roadblocks to a better world.

This in-built expectation is the hardest mountain to climb if you are thinking about training your employees, and developing a learning culture, a culture of wisdom, or a culture of respect for the process of change, in your organization.

But first, you must publicly acknowledge that the expectation exists.

If you cannot do that, then all the time spent on micro-learning, macro-learning, and the spending of training dollars would have been better put toward developing organizational cultural expectations in candidates around a lack of “frictionlessness” first in your recruiting, hiring, and onboarding processes.


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