Managers view almost every new initiative as “another thing to manage”

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… this is the pervasive way of thinking about things in the white-collar enterprise world (which admittedly is often a slice of work), and this is probably the most brutal to any ideas around “innovation” or “growth,” IMHO.

Basic situation: executive orders some new tech. He was really kicking tires on it for months. He brought in tons of stakeholders. He’s absolutely convinced this {time and attendance suite or whatever} is going to take his business to the next level. We’re talking 125 percent growth year-to-year. It’s going to be absolutely beast mode. Sick.

He buys it, signs the deal, and they start rolling it out.

You know how this shit goes. In the implementation meeting, the sales guy for this new tech suite that’s gonna save everything could barely give a flying fuck. He’s already sold. He’s good. Gold, even. He’s half-asleep mumbling through talking points that represented his entire life a few months ago. He’s outie 5000.

The executive is giddy. Fuck yea, growth. Love it. Can’t wait. H

What happens next?

We start implementing it at the execution level. There are some manuals on the Intranet or in some project management tool. No one looks at them. A few emails fly around about how to use it. There are a couple of all-hands meetings. No one really knows what the exact deal is.

And then… the fatal blow … the true machete to the dick …

All the middle managers begin saying…

“Well, I’m just so busy as is…”

“This feels like another thing I have to manage…”

And, gradually, it erodes. The hot new software, the once-vaunted promise of the future, becomes shelf ware. No one is using it. Adoption rates are tragic.

Unless some exec straight-up comes out and threatens your career over using this suite, it fades into obscurity.

This was the exact situation I’ve been in 12–15 times at different jobs. The most famous was a place in 2015 trying to get us to use Yammer. LOL. I won’t even go into it.

To me, and admittedly I’m a very flawed person, this says something about how to frame up new tech or a new project or initiative. It has to have meaning, value, or purpose. Otherwise, everyone who views themselves as busy as fuck is just going to say “Ugh, another thing I gotta manage” and do nothing value-add with it.

There’s a deep psychology to how people think about their time. If you don’t understand or acknowledge that, it’s really hard to main legit significant gains at work.

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