Have you ever wondered whether your work efforts were really creating value? From what I’ve seen in organizations, a lot of people have that experience. The problem is that many times they don’t do anything about it.
Not long ago I spoke at a company meeting about the challenges of complexity in organizations. At one point, I asked the audience members to identify and discuss simplification opportunities in their areas. During the report-outs, one woman described how she and her co-workers spent hours each week on the cosmetics of a particular report to make sure that it looked good when it went to senior management. She went on to say that this focus on style rather than substance was a waste of time. When I asked why she continued to do this, she quickly said that her boss expected it. Her boss was also in the room, and when asked about the report said, “I don’t care what it looks like, as long as it has the right information.”