Bob Sutton has penned a new exclusive piece for LinkedIn.

As the old saying goes, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Consider the onslaught of cognitive overload that so many of us contend with in our jobs. Here is an example from where I work. A few weeks ago, I was sitting in a faculty meeting led by an enthusiastic Stanford colleague who is charged with revamping the teaching evaluation system that students use to assess our classes. The new system does seem to have improved features — in particular, it allows faculty to identify learning goals and to select and write questions customized to each class. I appreciate the work the committee has done on the evaluations, but to be honest, I couldn’t tell whether the new system would be better or worse than the old system (and beyond his enthusiasm, he didn’t present any arguments that I found convincing). But there was one thing that I am 100% sure will happen: This new system will require several more hours of work every year from every faculty member than the old system. []

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