30 July 2009


If your motives are pure and simple, visa a vi, do my job better, make better products, make customers happy… then why is there so much conflict in the workplace. Why are there so many roadblocks to getting my job done and doing it better?

The origin of the term ‘bureaucracy’ was to identify systems and technologies placed into large organizations to increase efficiency. By the way, it was the Romans that figured out well-managed groups really need to be capped at about 100-125 individuals.

One of the basic premise’ behind working efficient and effectively is to break small problems or projects into smaller ones. Evolving this to ongoing work streams, we assign specialists. Specialist often feel that to operate at their best, they must have a singular focus and look at their part of the problem with a microscope or telescope. The problem with each of these visual tools is that they decrease depth perception and are limited by perspective.

Each of us within the organization need to get out of the weeds, away from out tactical poise and look at the big picture. If the trains run on time, but they don’t take folks to their intended destination, we have failed collectively. Increased efficiency always impacts effectiveness, and vice versa.

So get out of your chair… stand on your desks and have a look over those cubical walls. Get out of your office and wander to a different floor. Talk to people who do jobs other than what you do. Gain some perspective. There is a bigger picture.