Resonance is a lens through which to view the variability of everyday job performance, based on how job and system functions are connected.
In complex systems, events and conditions combine in ways difficult to imagine. Cause and effect reasoning we use in simple systems is not enough to understand all the ways crafting and implementing this policy might impact understanding, interpretation, enforcement, and adherence – along with perceptions of policy fairness, and how employees or supervisors might work around it.
Everyday performance in complex systems must be variable. Performance variability can make systems safer but also riskier, depending on the scenario. It’s rare that variability in normal performance by itself causes a serious incident. But variability from multiple approximate adjustments coinciding can converge in unexpected ways, and result in disproportionately large effects.
We believe it is important to understand that actual work cannot be explained by the rules that govern it – no matter how many rules are in place. In complex systems, the work that is done will differ significantly from work as imagined. And in a complex system, the actionable explanations of why things go right is more important than why things go wrong.
We believe in designing the work to accommodate and support the workers. Our focus is how people interact with the system. By increasing the chance that the worker can perform effectively in the appropriate situation, total system performance and safety improves. We believe in improving the relationship between people and their work through the systematic application of human sciences.
We are concerned with all the factors that can influence people and their work behavior – environmental, organizational, job, team, and individual characteristics. We strive to understand and improve interactions between workers and other elements of the system.
We conduct extensive research and explain through various ways how to better improve human performance, in order to improve system performance. We take a research-driven approach to the way work is done and the way technical systems are used, and apply theory, principles, data, and methods to optimize the system as a whole. Every problem in a complex system is a system problem.
Pamela Ey, PhD is the Founder of Resonance Labs. With over two decades of experience in human & behavioral sciences, her passion is helping leaders optimize behaviors to achieve goals, at the intersection of the complex system and the people doing the work.