Business, Random
Comments 4

Bad system = hard work + lack of trust.

Have you ever viewed the world in terms of systems/ design?

Today it just occurred to me that “hard work” and the “lack of trust” are the results and symptoms of a bad system or design.

Of course in a system, there are multiple players. So if you are the one who designed the system, it’s likely to be designed for your benefit. Why would you design it otherwise?

How about people in the system who did not design this system? They act in their best interests. Hard work is the extent of work you put in to contribute to the goals of this system. So if you don’t even know what you want, then…

then…think hard about what you want. Choose your industry wisely before jumping in.

So what is trust? Trust is when you have faith that the other party would not interfere with your acting in best interests within this system. Or that the other party would not screw up when doing a joint-project with you.

Therefore, when there is hard work and/or lack of trust in any given scenario, it means that you are not positioning yourself well within the system. Can communication in any form help? Yes it can for a tiny-weeny bit, but not likely to, because it does not change your position.

Communication is simply to ask for your permission to be stressed out since conflict of interest is the norm.

Is there then, an ethical obligation to inform the people in the system that this is the norm, and there would be conflict of interest? The answer to me is a yes. 

But I just realised that most business people don’t inform their staffs of conflicts of interest, because to them business is solely about demand, supply and consent. If the person is stupid, it is just too bad. “I am paying you, if you are not happy, quit.”

Personally I don’t think that’s very ethical. But it also means that “following the money” is always a very fair guideline for human behaviour. You can feel really strongly about something, but if a person is paying you, then you’d just still continue to shut up.

I had been that stupid person, so I know very well how it feels. But I will continue to be stupid no more.

So if you are in a system, spot the system.

Better still, create your own systems. And use “trust” and “easy work” to test for its quality.


This entry was posted in: Business, Random


Hi! This is Wan Wei and some affectionately call me WW. I help people remember you. Also Editor in Chief at IKIGUIDE (, Singapore's first online portal on personal branding.


  1. Ronald says

    Hey Wan, this was a very insightful piece. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It’s true that systems are designed to control those within systems and protect the interest of the creators and investors.

    But how can those who are mere pawns thrive in a system? I think the best way is to create their own systems within the system. In that way they can at least somehow modify the rules.

    • Hey Ronald, thank you for the comment! ^^
      I think awareness is the first step!
      The next step is to pick sides, and communicate to your boss that you want his protection =) I think neutrality is evil. But i’m uncertain if this stance of anti-neutrality is good, or not, because I’d then tend to offend some.

      • Ronald says

        I also find neutrality to be evil. It’s basically saying that i don’t give a f***. The problem with taking sides is that the other party usually tends to be the one running the system. In which case they’d choose to side with the outcome that benefits the system more, not the worker.

        Then there’s the issue of trust…Can there ever be genuine trust between you and those running the system ?

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