Friday, May 29, 2009

Clarity Leads to Productivity

"Business is doing a great job at changing to meet marketplace, customer and shareholder needs. And it is lousy at making work elegant -- creating clarity of choice, then providing the tools and information people need to work smarter."

-- Bill Jensen, "Simplicity: The New Competitive Advantage"

In my post Strategy Plain and Simple, I stated "People inherently know what to do (i.e., develop their own task lists) if they know what the parameters are for decision making based on the organization's strategic focus."

However, being able to develop their own task lists in line with the strategic focus requires that people have the resources they need to complete the tasks. Information management is a source of unnecessary complexity in organizations according to the book Simplicity: The New Competitive Advantage by Bill Jensen. Jensen describes simplicity as an information revolution whose mission is to make the complex clear.

How often have you or your staff done something "the hard way" because your couldn't find the information, training or resources you needed to do it most efficiently? Ironically, we have hundreds of technological tools available to make information readily available and targeted to specific users, often free or inexpensive.

The barrier is not technological availability or cost; rather, it is perspective. Specifically, we don't view our staff as end-users the same way we do our customers. Updating our website is a never-ending activity, and the focus usually is how to make navigating easier for the end-user. Yet, we don't put the same focus on how to help staff navigate their jobs easier, to easily find the targeted information they need SPECIFIC to their job.

How often have you taken a joyride on the information superhighway and hours later realized: I just spent half my day on the internet and have nothing to show for it? At times even when I'm trying to maintain discipline and focus on a job task, I take an information sideroad just because it's there -- the "Ooh, shiny. . . " factor.

The challenge with the sheer volume of information now available is determining what is meaningful and essential. With that in mind, organizations need to pre-route staff trips for information so that each person takes the specific route that is the quickest for them to get from point "A" to point "B." Think end-user experience.

A simple three-column spreadsheet can be the beginning of a simple, effective information management system. With "staff position" heading the first column, two questions head the next two columns:

1. What do I need?
2. Where can I find it?

Then start the list, which can be expanded and contracted as more items come up or as job needs change.

For a free, low-tech, easy approach, save the spreadsheet in Google Docs and make it available online for all staff to share and update. The document can be used to create a searchable database or simply use the search function in the spreadsheet itself.


  1. "Yeezy Boost 350 Cheap", He represents all those that are used for commercial purposes. As a carnivore who took a young friend to visit baby Mango, who was then living with two adults, two kids and a confused dog, you might be able to imagine how my life changed when a piglet kissed me. And, man, I loved bacon!.

    You can wear dark or light slacks with these shoes and look great but if you want to dress them down a bit they work too. Jeans and khakis are a great fit and you could even wear these golfing and rest assured that you meet the dress code at your local country club. They are also available in other colors if you really like them and want to buy two or more pairs to add to your growing shoe collection..

    "Cheap Jordan Shoes Sale", Pentaon, Coach Outlet Clearance Sale the US military headquarters, has confirmed the strike on a Syrian military base in the early hours of Friday. This comes after US President Donald Trump ordered a massive military strike on a Syrian air base in retaliation for a "barbaric" chemical attack he blamed on Syrian President Bashar al Assad. In a Ray Ban Sunglasses Near Me televised address, Mr Trump urge..

    Like any medical test, there has to be a Michael Kors Outlet Online clinical reason to perform the procedure. In the case of COVID 19, someone must have symptoms of the disease like fever, coughing and shortness of breath. Travel to an area with active transmission of COVID 19 is also a factor, as well as close contact with someone who is sick or had travelled.

    "Cheap Air Force Ones", That was about one for every 1,000 residents.A Swiss doctor holds a swab kit manufactured by Copan, which is based in the hard hit Lombardy region of Italy.Coincidentally, Ottawa Public Health says it has anywhere between 55 to 115 workers doing case and contact management: similar to Wuhan intensity, though it difficult to know whether the data is comparable.The more data health agencies compile across Canada, the more we know about how the virus is circulating and whether parts of the country are actually developing significant immunity.Even so, it little wonder many Canadians are still nervous about the idea of re opening provincial economies. The coronavirus that causes COVID 19 has from the beginning displayed a disturbing ability to surprise us in a bad way. And there is much we still don know.