“The easy way out usually leads back in” – This is one of the eleven laws mentioned in the book ‘The Fifth Discpline’ by Peter Senge. I have observed this too many times at my work place where a solution was more of an evasive move, trying to avoid the problem or use a clever alternative which hits back at us when we least expect. Last weekend I was reading the newspaper about how cane toads where introduced in Australia to control the beetle population and the result of that after some decades. The people who were interested in controlling the beetle population had a narrow view of the Australian biodiversity and did not know the long term effects of introducing the cane toads. They introduced these toads from South America to Australia.
What were the results? The cane toads were not able to control the beetle population as the beetles lived at the top of the sugarcanes in the fields. The toads were not able to climb the cane to feed on them, instead the native reptile population went down drastically as they fed on these toads which had a poison sac in them killing the predators. Without the intended effects this move has resulted in altering the biodiversity of Australia at a noticeable scale. Our workplace is no different, simple tactical moves which seemed to be clever choices will result in a bigger problem often for people who succeed in the roles. The only way to not get into these types of traps is ‘Systems thinking’ and to remember that if there is an easy way out then we will usually end up back in.
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