What are Unintended Consequences?

What are Unintended Consequences?

Paul Orlando

25 years: Systems specialist

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, or so they say. In the first video of this series, Paul Orlando lays down the basics for what a system is and explores how second-order thinking leads to unintended consequences and system surprises.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, or so they say. In the first video of this series, Paul Orlando lays down the basics for what a system is and explores how second-order thinking leads to unintended consequences and system surprises.

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What are Unintended Consequences?

6 mins 36 secs

Overview

A system is a collection of parts that relate to each other, with a boundary. Understanding what those parts are, how they are related or connected, and what behaviour we might see can be surprising - and therefore lead to unintended consequences. Unintended consequences can be defined as when we take an action and the result is something other than we expected. This is usually caused by failure to consider the outcomes of the outcomes.

Key learning objectives:

  • Learn what a system is

  • Define unintended consequences

  • Understand first and second-order thinking

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This content is also available as part of a premium, accredited video course. Sign up for a 14-day trial to watch for free.

Summary
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This content is also available as part of a premium, accredited video course. Sign up for a 14-day trial to watch for free.

Expert
Paul Orlando

Paul Orlando

Paul's writing on "unintended consequences" comes from his work delving into the systems that he works to impact. He is the founder of Startups Unplugged, a consulting firm devoted to helping large organizations execute with the speed of startups. To do this, Paul often builds startup accelerators and incubators, helping organizations generate more revenue and enabling communities to attract new businesses. He is adjunct professor at the University of Southern California, running the institution's Incubator and in the past built other innovation programmes globally including AcceleratorHK in Hong Kong and the Laudato Si startup incubator in Rome. Paul graduated from Cornell University and Columbia Business School.

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