Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions
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Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions
Explores writing, applications of thought and theory, solutions, engineering, design, DIY, Interesting approaches to problems, examples of interdisciplinary explorations and solutions.
Curated by Sharrock
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Improbable Research

Improbable Research | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it

Summary and Concluding Remarks

First, this experiment yielded a 64% delivery rate (18/28), an almost two-thirds success rate. (For our purposes, "delivery" constituted some type of independent handling by the USPS and subsequent contact regarding the object, regardless of whether we got to see or keep the object or whether it arrived whole.) This is astounding, considering the nature of some of the items sent. This compares with a 0% rate of receipt of fully wrapped packages from certain countries of the developing world, such as Peru, Turkey, and Egypt. Admittedly, those were international mailings, and thus not totally comparable; nevertheless, the disparity is striking.

Second, the delivery involved the collusion of sequences of postal workers, not simply lone operatives. The USPS appears to have some collective sense of humor, and might in fact here be displaying the rudiments of organic bureaucratic intelligence.

Finally, our investigation team felt remorse for some of its experimental efforts, most particularly the category "Disgusting," after the good faith of the USPS in its delivery efforts. We sought out as many of the USPS employees who had (involuntarily) been involved in the experiment as we could identify, and gave them each a small box of chocolate.

We, and all scientists, owe a debt of gratitude to these civil servants. Without them, we would have had but little success in pushing the envelope.

- See more at: http://www.improbable.com/airchives/paperair/volume6/v6i4/postal-6-4.html#sthash.7vjHaJlh.dpuf

Sharrock's insight:

excerpt: "Having long been genuine admirers of the United States Postal Service (USPS), which gives amazingly reliable service especially compared with many other countries, our team of investigators decided to test the delivery limits of this immense system. We knew that an item, say, a saucepan, normally would be in a package because of USPS concerns of entanglement in their automated machinery. But what if the item were not wrapped? How patient are postal employees? How honest? How sentimental? In short, how eccentric a behavior on the part of the sender would still result in successful mail delivery?"

 

- See more at: http://www.improbable.com/airchives/paperair/volume6/v6i4/postal-6-4.html#sthash.7vjHaJlh.dpuf

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Sharrock's curator insight, January 12, 2014 9:27 AM

The incredible work of government employees. At first, is humorous. Then, quite informative.

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Givers take all: The hidden dimension of corporate culture | McKinsey & Company

Givers take all: The hidden dimension of corporate culture | McKinsey & Company | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
By encouraging employees to both seek and provide help, rewarding givers, and screening out takers, companies can reap significant and lasting benefits. A McKinsey Quarterly article.
Sharrock's insight:

from the article: "The importance of helping-behavior for organizational effectiveness stretches far beyond intelligence work. Evidence from studies led by Indiana University’s Philip Podsakoff demonstrates that the frequency with which employees help one another predicts sales revenues in pharmaceutical units and retail stores; profits, costs, and customer service in banks; creativity in consulting and engineering firms; productivity in paper mills; and revenues, operating efficiency, customer satisfaction, and performance quality in restaurants."

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Scooped by Sharrock
Scoop.it!

Improbable Research

Improbable Research | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it

Summary and Concluding Remarks

First, this experiment yielded a 64% delivery rate (18/28), an almost two-thirds success rate. (For our purposes, "delivery" constituted some type of independent handling by the USPS and subsequent contact regarding the object, regardless of whether we got to see or keep the object or whether it arrived whole.) This is astounding, considering the nature of some of the items sent. This compares with a 0% rate of receipt of fully wrapped packages from certain countries of the developing world, such as Peru, Turkey, and Egypt. Admittedly, those were international mailings, and thus not totally comparable; nevertheless, the disparity is striking.

Second, the delivery involved the collusion of sequences of postal workers, not simply lone operatives. The USPS appears to have some collective sense of humor, and might in fact here be displaying the rudiments of organic bureaucratic intelligence.

Finally, our investigation team felt remorse for some of its experimental efforts, most particularly the category "Disgusting," after the good faith of the USPS in its delivery efforts. We sought out as many of the USPS employees who had (involuntarily) been involved in the experiment as we could identify, and gave them each a small box of chocolate.

We, and all scientists, owe a debt of gratitude to these civil servants. Without them, we would have had but little success in pushing the envelope.

- See more at: http://www.improbable.com/airchives/paperair/volume6/v6i4/postal-6-4.html#sthash.7vjHaJlh.dpuf

Sharrock's insight:

The incredible work of government employees. At first, is humorous. Then, quite informative.

more...
Sharrock's curator insight, January 12, 2014 9:29 AM

excerpt: "Having long been genuine admirers of the United States Postal Service (USPS), which gives amazingly reliable service especially compared with many other countries, our team of investigators decided to test the delivery limits of this immense system. We knew that an item, say, a saucepan, normally would be in a package because of USPS concerns of entanglement in their automated machinery. But what if the item were not wrapped? How patient are postal employees? How honest? How sentimental? In short, how eccentric a behavior on the part of the sender would still result in successful mail delivery?"

 

- See more at: http://www.improbable.com/airchives/paperair/volume6/v6i4/postal-6-4.html#sthash.7vjHaJlh.dpuf