Unintended Consequences

Hand about to topple dominoes
Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

Unintended consequences are outcomes of a purposeful action that are not intended or foreseen.

Last year, the Brit Awards created a single best artist category to be more inclusive to enable non-binary people be nominated. What it means this year is all the nominees are men. I’d expect this will change next year when it’s realised this is the outcome, but this shouldn’t have happened in the first place. The outcome wasn’t predicted.

This isn’t a post about gender or sex – there are many more informed people than me who can speak on that topic. It’s more to highlight how doing one thing will have impacts across other activity.

Bring in a new LMS? Where does all the old content go?

Change your office systems? What knowledge is lost in the organisation from the shift?

Change your marketing and offer to one group? Who is being excluded?

Understanding first and second level effects is a result of being able to critically think your way through a problem. We need more – and better – critical thinking.

How do you develop critical thinking as a skill?

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