2011 Harold Stolovitch’s HPT Legacy Interview


From World-renowned to the evolving, Guy Wallace has captured multiple videos of professionals who focus their time and energy to improve human performance. As technologists (by definition), they apply scientific knowledge to practical purposes. They leverage evidence-based models, processes, techniques, and tools to improve how humans perform in complex systems.

Enter Harold Stolovitch. In 2011, Guy Wallace captured Stolovitch in this 2011 legacy interview. During the interview, Stolovitch explains what differentiates scientists from those who apply scientific knowledge for improving human performance:

…the scientist works with a microscope delving ever more deeply into narrower and more narrowly defined areas so that they can control what’s going on in order to understand the fundamentals. We, in our field, use the macroscope. In other words, it’s like a big, big lens that tries to look at everything and see all the components. So, when I said that I’m interested in everything, it’s because the smallest things can throw us off…that systems view [is about] how all the elements work together to produce an outcome.

Later, he shares his love of discovering how ordinary people achieve the extraordinary:

…looking at what makes the difference between people in the same system are able to do extraordinary things [and those who don’t] …what I have found that they’re often ordinary people but have found ways to use all the elements within the system to get incredibly wonderful outcomes. I’ve had the opportunity to work in a number of different environments – whether it’s coffee shops like the Starbucks type of coffee shop environment or automotive dealerships or within the military or within healthcare or finance – what is it that give the exemplary performers that edge [and] what can we learn that we can feed back into the system. That means that, very often, the variables come from all over the place and putting them together is kind of interesting.


This interview is brilliant and worth watching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTxtgrfz3pI.

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