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© BOB SUTTON  2018

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Project Philosophy

The Friction Project is guided by two beliefs.

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First, we believe that our insights about friction are most useful when we consider both rational and emotional elements. That is why our project tagline is “Building organizations that make the right things easy to do and don’t drive people crazy.” Or, as Huggy describes our conversations with people who struggle to cope with and remove destructive friction (and inject constructive friction) “it is half organizational design and half therapy.”

Second, we believe that the best approach is NOT to hide in our ivory tower for a few years, develop a pristine academic theory, and unveil our findings, model, and advice at the end of the project. Friction embraces numerous wicked and messy problems. Sure, scholars offer useful insights. But so do people in the real world who grapple with such challenges every day. 

As a result, The Friction Project is a journey where, along the way, we are talking with, teaching, studying, and trying to help people in all kinds of roles and organizations. We keep showing them our unfinished ideas about friction –our hunches, explanations, and solutions—to all kinds of smart people. That way, our perspective keeps evolving—and, we hope, getting better-- in response to their suggestions, insights, and critiques.