Nonsense At Work

#100: October 2015 MindShift

Nonsense just is,
but sense must be uncovered, grasped and held tight.The NonsenseAtWork Monthly MindShift


October 2015

Fact Drives Bored Merchant Undone

Fact of the day: Companies, like computers, cannot lie and deceive

shhhhAnother week, another company caught lying to the public and deceiving its customers. However, something good is in the air, if we are very lucky.

Someone in a position to do something about the obvious is finally stating the obvious. Her name is Sally Yates and she is brave enough, or stupid enough, to say that “Corporations can only commit crimes through flesh-and-blood people. It’s only fair that the people who are responsible for committing those crimes be held accountable.”

Correct! People, not companies, lie and deceive. Like computers, companies do as people direct.

In war crimes, the plea “I was only following orders” no longer gets you off the hook, although it might lighten your punishment. Why is a company any different? “My boss made me do” it should have consequences, not bonuses.

Sally Yates is the deputy United States attorney general. I say, go, Sally, go!


Making daily decisions without blame drives me nuts

angryI am a registered voter and Sally Yates gets my vote even though what drives me nuts about politicians is their inability to make decisions. If not that, then it’s their ability to make poor decisions.

I am a capitalist consumer. What drives me nuts about business leaders is their inability to make good decisions. Because when they do make a good decision, it too often means good for them and not for me.

I am an employee working for pay. What drives me nuts about my employers is their inability to make workable decisions. Because their workable decisions invariably mean more work for me.

I am a functioning adult. What drives me nuts about being an adult is the number of daily decisions I must make. And how difficult it is to make the right one.

I wish someone would make decisions for me, someone who won’t go nuts when I blame them for poor decisions.


If you are bored at work, take a hike

take-hikeAutumn is when plants slow down and animals speed up. At least, those animals who know it’s time to stock up, speed up. Others, like humans, are so stocked up after a summer of plenty that they are even lazier than normal.

So let’s boost productivity by talking about laziness at work.

First, we must admit that work laziness is directly linked to boredom. Who is the main cause of your boredom? Your manager! If, that is, you believe, like millions of other employees, that your manager hampers rather than helps your performance. And if you also think that managers should simply get out of the way.

However, if you are bored at work, then maybe you should get out of the way. Peter Drucker once said that many of his former students were bored working for large companies. After moving to smaller companies, they were much happier.


Whether friend or merchant, make quality trump quantity

quality-quantityOnce upon a time, you had few friends (and you were probably happier). They came from the pool of people where you lived and worked. It took time and frequent in-person interactions to turn them into friends. You made friends, and they were made to last. Quality trumped quantity.

Today we have many friends, liked on the same few web sites. These friends last no longer than the latest social media trend. Quantity trumps quality.

Once upon a time, the local shopkeeper made customers from the pool of people who lived and worked close by. With fewer people and fewer shops, the shopkeeper made customers to last. Today, customers come from all over and shop anywhere. They last as long as a visit or a series of clicks.

With too many superficial friendships, few stick. With too many trivial customers, few return. Whether friend or merchant, the trick is to make quality trump quantity.


One thing undone means day interrupted and project stalled

get-goingNonsense can be triggered by one thing that you must do before your day can really begin. You can get well into your day, but there often is one thing, if left undone, that will mess up the remainder of your day.

Here’s an example. My son was born in a place where he could run outside as soon as he woke, still in his pajamas or even in his birthday suit. But an unsympathetic adult would always interrupt his day with a ‘get dressed’ command.

I used the pain of play interrupted to teach him that certain things must be done to create a platform for success. The daily disciplined actions we make ritually prepare us to take advantage of opportunities, unexpected or planned.

The same idea applies to a project or task you are facing. What one thing must you do to secure the platform for real progress? Uncover that, do it and the rest is play.



Are you bored at work?



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