Mechanistic Behaviors

We worked with one of the top management-consulting firms in the industry. We set up a work environment for our bench scientists designed to encourage innovation. We set aside time and resources. We re-did the work areas. We aligned the incentives. We acquired the latest technology. We did everything possible and it failed. Miserably. It was one of my worst disappointments. DIA Pharmaceutical Industry Survey+ Participant

At times these behaviors result from someone having taken the initiative and gotten shot down, or seeing this happen to a colleague. But usually they come from the structure of the work. There's no room for adventure or glory when all the key decisions have been preset by someone else. There's no room for glory when you're working under the gun. The result is a mechanical approach to work, and the sacrifice of even a modicum of curiosity about that last rather unusual instrument reading. The sooner I get out of here and get home the better.


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