All those tools and processes might be making you less productive, actually

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From here, let me screen-cap something for you:

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Read that once or twice. I’ll wait.

Think of how “tech adoption” usually works

Because tech is usually a big purchase, said purchase is made by someone of a high rank. A “decision-maker,” as the parlance goes. A “C-Suiter,” perhaps.

I’ve worked at lots of places, and while I’ve largely been a peon admittedly, I’ve never been consulted on these purchases, even though I’d be the one using the shit all day.

Here’s a funny story: one of my good friends just switched roles within a company. In her exit interview from Role 1, she talks to an executive about how they could use Salesforce more effectively in that department. The executive, who probably signed the purchase order for Salesforce, says “What’s Salesforce?”

Is this a face palm? Sure.

But in other ways, it’s not. High-ranking men in companies are insulated from the work. They see the outcomes and supposedly “do things” with that information. (ROFLMAO, no they don’t.) They have no idea how the work gets done, often.

And yet they are the ones who are deciding what systems, processes, and tools will be used?

Huh?

Empathy for how people work

Told this story a few times here, but here goes again.

At a job I had a few years ago, the C-Suiters wanted to use Microsoft Dynamics, so we bought it.

There were all sorts of issues with how people were used to working, and there was no clarity of definition around what we were doing now.

One thing at that time (probably still) is that Dynamics has Yammer in it as a messaging platform/social share area. No one fucking knew what Yammer was, but the CEO kept sending emails telling people to use Yammer. It became this running joke.

PS at the same time, even though we were on Microsoft OneDrive now, half the company was still using Google because it was better for their workflow.

Everything ends up being a mess day-in and day-out.

Of course, it doesn’t matter — the company as a whole is still making money, and that’s what matters.

Meanwhile everyone who actually executes on work on a day-to-day level is running around in circles for 12 hours at a time. Wharton has called work “akin to chimp rape.” Wonder why?

The sales-marketing divide

In that screen-cap above, the best sales guys are the ones who aren’t using the systems and processes provided by the org.

Doesn’t surprise me.

Another aspect would be marketing.

This is how sales/marketing relationship works at most places I’ve been:

  • Marketing produces a ton of shit, because that’s what they’re judged on

It doesn’t surprise me in the least that the best sales guys avoid systems and create their own.

The best sales guys understand their customers and potential customers.

So they meet them where they’re at — not with the archaic bullshit their parent company is forcing on them.

And at the end of the day, if these sales guys aren’t following process, who cares? They’re selling.

And that’s revenue.

That’s what matters.

Process for the sake of process

That’s what a lot of processes and systems at work really are.

Process for the sake of process.

No real bigger meaning.

The most common one (that I’ve seen) is when someone fucks up something once, and so a process is created that now everyone has to follow, even though those other people didn’t fuck anything up.

You see that with meetings a lot too — some project dies, and the manager thinks it’s “a communication issue.” So they schedule a regular meeting to “get everyone on the same page.”

Three years later, this meeting has no usefulness but keeps happening because everyone is trying to follow the processes and systems in place.

That’s a lot of what work is: something happens, the reaction is “here is a new process point,” and those process points pile up until they overwhelm all sense of priority, meaning, context, or utility of the actual work.

You can evaluate your processes, you know?

See which ones help work and which ones hinder it?

You can do that.

I’m not arguing for everyone coming in and doing their own thing…

… but people should be able to work in a way, and under the processes/systems, that make them the most productive.

Doesn’t that sound logical?

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Blogging, largely about work and how to improve it. How I make (some) money: http://thecontextofthings.com/hire-freelance-writer-ted-bauer/

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