Can we stop hammering triangular blocks into square holes?

It causes damage!

Two wooden child toy's. One board with wooden pegs and a hammer. The hammer can be used knock the pegs through the holes in the board. And a stove with round, rectangular, triangular and square holes with round, rectangular, triangular and square bloks, which tightly fit in the stove.
source of both pictures:

As a long time interested (retired) researcher on transport of people with a handicap, I experience more and more the amount of real life circumstances that I cannot be aware of.

It sometimes feels like trying to put triangular blocks into square holes. The total surface of the square hole is just a tiny bit larger than the surface of the triangular block.
Remember the toy we played with when we were kids? It just doesn’t fit. It helps to become aware of differences between the holes. Sounds simple, right? Well a kid, convinced that it should fit, grabbed a wooden hammer to hammer the triangular block in the square hole (that was me long time ago). If you’re parents are not around to stop you, it causes damage, And I could be wrong as well: It could have been a round hole I was trying to put the triangle in.

I’ve seen a lot of threads on twitter (X) lately, with stories about damage caused by just this process. Rules that are made by high level managers, politicians, scientists etc., who are convinced that, in their view of the world, the real life hole is triangular and nothing else than triangular. Their solution should fit in perfectly. You cannot blame people for the experience they don’t have. Blame sucks anyway. But people battle over solutions, because experienced workplace workers do know, because they have experienced it doesn’t fit in the square hole. Both are right, in an ideal system world the model might fit. In real life it doesn’t. The solution: talk to each other, ask questions like Edgar and Peter Schein propose in one of their books “Humble Inquiry”.

Like Andrea Walraven Thissen shows in Back to the evidence base: “You cannot control what other people do or say. All you can control is how you react to it”

This resulted in an opinion article on “The complex reality of mobility aids and ISO Standards in transport.”

Another example:
In the Netherlands, there is a discussion on a new system of 15 health care profiles without a direct financial target attached, within which the care-giver and care-receiver decide together the amount of care needed. In theory it might even work. But in real life, experienced care-givers leave their job’s because the care they find appropriate is under heavily pressure by health insurance and is limited to a inhumane level. Health insurance is convinced they do a good job, keeping the premium low . The government is convinced this plan should work. But they haven’t included real life experience. The people who receive care are damaged and lose trust in the health care system,.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *