We generally pursue an objective or set of goals when acting.  Whether in completing daily tasks or longer term projects, we force ourselves to focus on the direct consequences of the positive or negative results or sometimes, the completion or non-completion of the task.

In our mind, the direct consequence of not cleaning one’s house could be that one might fall sick from all the filth – we hardly think of any unintended consequences such as how a dirty house may affect their general sense of wellbeing and indirectly reduces the amount of joy they get out of doing anything in that house.  In that same line of thoughts, the direct consequence of having a house cleaned could seem to be the objective in itself: a clean house. Whereas the unintended consequences could be the quality of any work done in that house.

Same goes for professional environments, the consequences of not allowing creativity to flourish might seem to only be that very few cool ideas will come out of that environment. Whereas, the loss of opportunities to better the business and consequently grow it could be directly linked to how much employees are allowed to express their creativity.

Unintended consequences are the cause of some great innovations of our era.  Thinking of them doesn’t only give us the kick we need to get things done well and in time, but also sets the environment to get more out of what we normally do.

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