Thursday, February 14, 2008

Dwindling Work Performance and Standards

Not only have the boots and the uniforms changed from when I first entered the Army, but the overall discipline of the troops seems to be a bit different too. (Perhaps this hilarious video sheds some light on why.)

…Of course, now everything’s run by computers and electronic maps too. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer a good map, protractor and compass to a GPS, and a sturdy pen and pad to an e-notepad computer.

The computers went down not long ago and the war operations just about halted. I’m not exaggerating (well, maybe just a little).

There was a time when a WWII written operations order for a major battle involving several divisions might have been only 25 pages…to include appendices! Now a company order—incredibly smaller than a division-sized element—is much longer than that (i.e. 35 electronic pages complete with colorful graphs, charts, and unnecessary bells and whistles). And that's no exaggeration!

I think we’ve just created more work for ourselves—more emails to check (and write) and more busy work to do. With the advent of wonderful technology has come an overload of information and an excess ability to produce just about anything we want. That’s why it’s essential to never ‘major in the minors’, a term I have used often when speaking on leadership, self-improvement and quality organizational management. Stay on task. Concentrate. Too often, entire organizations fall because of this complex issue, and individual workers spend more time reading and forwarding 'junk mail' than getting their jobs done in an effective and efficient manner.

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