I am a designer of business habits. I design ways that human beings – in explicit or tacit collaboration with others – do things to shape their futures by adjusting or changing their habits. Mostly I work in large institutions. In the process of building new working habits in a number of industries over the years, I have designed and led the development of several complex software systems.
We human beings are creatures of habit, and habits are deeply relevant to the question of wisdom. Even before we notice we are doing it, we act out of structures in which we are predisposed to act in particular ways – ways that are shaped by habits of thought, word, and deed. Most of the time, people pay little attention to the way that acting in habitual and unexamined ways shapes our world. I have for many years been interested in ways of thinking and acting that allow me and my clients to look beneath the world’s neatly ordered stories about why and how people do the things they do. Further, because the construction of new habits always involves breaking or reshaping old habits, I also study how to intervene in old habits. As the reader will see, these matters are deeply relevant to the subject of designing and building systems that support wise action in organizations.