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Home » Human Complexity Simplified: Jennifer Sorensen (Transcript)

Human Complexity Simplified: Jennifer Sorensen (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of Jennifer Sorensen’s talk titled “Human Complexity Simplified” at TEDxSaltLakeCity conference.

In her enlightening talk “Human Complexity Simplified,” Jennifer Sorensen delves into the nuanced nature of human beings and the implications for workplaces. She argues that recognizing and embracing the multifaceted identities of employees can lead to more meaningful and productive work environments. Sorensen criticizes standard recruitment and performance management processes for often failing to appreciate the full spectrum of an individual’s capabilities and interests.

Through her experiences, she highlights the contrast between roles where she was confined to narrow job descriptions and those where she could leverage her unique skills and perspectives. She advocates for a more inclusive approach in workplaces, suggesting that organizations should continually seek to understand and utilize the evolving strengths and passions of their employees.

Sorensen’s talk is a call to action for leaders to design processes that honor the complexity of people, thereby unlocking their full potential. Her insights emphasize the importance of viewing employees not just in terms of their current role but as multifaceted individuals with diverse contributions to offer over time.

Listen to the audio version here:


Hello out there. Can you see me? But do you really see me? There’s more to me than meets the eye. And there’s more to you too. The study of complexity theory shows us that humans are complex. No two of us are exactly alike. We each have our own identities, experiences, beliefs, and mindsets that shape who we are.

We constantly change as we interact with each other and our environment, and we should never be reduced to a few aspects of ourselves. We are, by design, very complex. Workplaces are also complex. After all, they’re made up of people. Research shows that employees in workplaces want to be seen fully as humans, and they desire more meaning in their work. It makes sense.

Understanding Human Complexity

Think about your own experience. Haven’t you ever wanted to wave your hands and say, “Here I am? There’s so much more to me that you don’t see. There’s so much more that I can do.” We might be expecting leaders to solve this, and yes, they do play a role. But consider the processes those leaders are expected to follow, like recruiting, performance management, or employee development.

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