O’s Leadership Tips: Why More People Create More Work
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I’ve worked with different organizations over the years and I have often noticed a similar trend…the more people involved in a process the more work that seems to be created. I am not saying people are bad resources in a company/organization, but there is an optimal level after which people become redundant…and rather than work load reducing from an increased number of people, it actually increases! This increase is greatly magnified when the optimal level is broken at the managerial level…all of a sudden more approval levels are required to complete a simple task.
This phenomenon was first observed by Major Parkinson in 1944 during the war between the English and Germans. As a high ranking officer of his base, major Parkinson was engulfed in a ton of critical paper work that was vital to the war. But as if things were not difficult enough the chief of base and the air vice-marshal both went on leave and then his deputy, an army colonel fell ill leaving Major Parkinson to run his base alone. An already gargantuan task was now made even more difficult by the absence of 3 critical officers. Failure was inevitable…But instead something peculiar happened…Nothing
Rather than being overwhelmed by work, the paper work completely ceased and the war progressed without issue! According the Major Parkinson “There had never been anything to do. We’d just been making work for each other.”
A sentence, that summarizes a critical issue faced amongst large corporations across the globe in today’s world. The solution requires a skilled leader, one who strives to get his organization to operate at an optimal level as opposed to a leader who simply creates more positions and roles in order to fill a non-existent work void. Focus on the optimal and your organization will excel!
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