Issue 05: decluttering
The uncomfortable truth is that in large organisations huge amounts of peoples time is consumed doing things which add no value. The result is tired people and tired organisations, and this carries a heavy cost. Issue 05 includes chapters on clutter culture, the underlying causes and what can we do to reduce volume?
“Less is more”
William Shakespeare, King Lear
Apparently, the average US office worker spends 30 minutes to two hours a day looking for things. We might call this ‘non-value-adding activity’. We prefer to call it ‘clutter’, and it’s the theme of this booklet.
You might recognise clutter from some of the things you hear around your office:
‘I went out for lunch and when I got back I had twenty five new emails’
‘That meeting was totally pointless; I don’t see why I had to be there’
‘Apparently it’s filed on the system somewhere’
‘I’m sorry but I’m back to back in meetings all day’
‘The delay’s due to the fact that it hasn’t been signed off yet’
‘I go to meetings all day and do my job in the intervals’
‘I can’t fill the vacancy until HR finish redrafting the new policy’
‘What happened to that project we were doing last year?’
‘Didn’t you see my email?’
‘We have to bring everyone up to speed’
‘Let’s pass it on to the sub-committee for further development’
‘We’ve lost the plot’
Sound familiar? The uncomfortable truth is that in large organisations huge amounts of people’s time is consumed doing things which add no value. This is expensive: it means lower productivity, things take longer to get done, it obscures the pathway to the future and it drains people’s energy.