Blog is on pause, but please do enjoy my tweets :)

Bureaucracy award for finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health

Finnish government should receive a bureaucracy award for its tremendous success on the area of ensuring equality on mental health issues.

Recently there has been two cases that underline these achievements:
Once again a man killed his family and after that himself. Nobody really knows why, but he tried to get in care just before the killings but didn't have one more paper to get approved in.
Another case happened just after that, a man who had wanted to get into care killed a random teenager by knife just to get the attention to get into care.

Neither of these cases really imply that these men would have enjoyed or wanted to end up to these dramatic conclusions. What is really peculiar in these cases is that they both seeked help, but were turned down. Stories of how difficult it is to get into care are already numerous and I assume these events will continue happening.

It is hard for me to understand why government does not add up the numbers and take a serious attention to the mental health issues. It is not just about suffering people, it's also about their victims, their families and money.
Yes I said money. Government is using huge amount of brainpower to figure how to lengthen the working years by restrictions to maintain the national economy and nobody is taking seriously proposals about improving the working conditions and mental health support.

People want to be productive and healthy. Enabling those is more effective than restricting the retiring and care.

Top managers fail to understand complexity?

Nokia along other big companies has tried a bunch of different strategies on it's way including touch, services, Maemo, Meego and QT. Seems that big organizations can only handle one -ism or vision at the time. The need to renew strategies completely can lead in ditching all parallel scenarios while striving for optimal beauty of a chart or simplicity of communication.

So why do these visions and strategies change so fast? It might have something to do with what I discussed in my last post about how leaders create a vision and keep up their reputation.
Creating a vision is a crucial competence for a leader. When things go wrong (stress rises narrowing the line of sight and lowering the willingness to discuss) the urge to form a strong vision can become the last straw to keep up the reputation, although the vision might be personally driven or not just good. When the vision is set, leaders competence is measured in how well the strategy is implemented - no matter what it is.

Adapting to new situations is crucial, but evaluating when a strategy is based on actual situation and when on personal drivers can be difficult. Stupidity should be easy to detect, but we want to believe in people and their decisions - to trust that there is a good reason behind every decision.

Employee centric leadership?

In my projects I could usually guess what the user thinks and wants, but in several cases, I wouldn't be accurate enough. That's why I practice user centered design against my natural way of thinking.
When I say natural, we come to the theory how I believe big leaders think:

Every profession is a combination of competence, reputation and vision.
As a designer, my job is to bring up the vision of the user need. In doing this, I might feel myself as a bad designer for the fact that I'm not competent to create the vision without asking the common people and I could believe that the fact lowers my reputation as a designer.
-In this respect being a designer is easy. Nowadays there is a managerial need for user centric design and you don't need to make excuses for their expert investment needing external support.

Being a big leader on the other hand, might not be as easy. I claim that employees are the information source for leaders, like users are for me. Unfortunately, there is no model for employee centric leadership - just the normal specialist model, managers on areas of engineering, markets and accounting try to keep up their good work and reputation by delivering insight, no matter how unsure that might be. And what would happen to the reputation of the leader, if someone heard the the grand vision is formed on regular workers opinions?

What would happen if we live based on the assumption that I cannot know - I'd better ask?
The natural bottle neck becomes the capacity of listening and finding out. The very same problem I face every day - just like different levels of management.