Uncommon sense

My all-time favorite hiring story is from Satya Nadella’s book, Hit Refresh.

As part of Nadella’s first round of interviews at Microsoft, the interviewer quizzed Nadella, “Imagine you see a baby laying on the street, and the baby is crying. What do you do?”
Nadella quickly replied, “You call 911.”
The interviewer: “You need some empathy. If a baby is laying on the street crying, you pick up the baby.”

Link in comments to how empathy helped generate a $2 trillion company #Microsoft – both inside and outside the organization.
Internally, putting the ‘Human’ back into Human Resources. Externally, advocating for Customer centricity as working backward from the customer needs to identify with best with their needs.

But is there also a link between Empathy and Common Sense?
Even in the business world.

Standard Chartered Bank, one of the world’s largest banks, opened its very own Ministry of Common Sense. It was a place for people to submit their commonsense issues to have them solved. Some submissions came with suggested solutions. E.g. someone who received 800 emails a day suggested the company remove the CC and Reply All functions from Outlook. The ask of the sender was to be empathetic of the recipient. Or to apply basic common sense.

“Over a period of 4 years, it introduced a ‘human mindset’ into the organization by systematically removing lack of common sense, banking-speak, acronyms, rules, restrictions, and overly complex procedures. The bank’s share price nearly doubled.”

As Martin Lindstrom, the author of NY Times bestseller, The Ministry of Common Sense, says “By seeing the world from another point-of-view, you’ll be able to spot and remove one stupidity – and one moment of insanity – at a time.”

What do you think? Does the journey towards empathy start with a return to common sense?

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