Monday, June 6, 2011

A solution to "not enough time"

Rachael Happe, groundbreaking co-founder of The Community Roundtable, has just written an incredibly important post entitled, Communities - The New Strategic Imperative.   I urge you to read and consider it.

Some managers and executives I know have expressed what I'll characterize as desperation at the speed at which things are running, and the fact that an end to the acceleration is nowhere in sight.  A few are trying to understand this problem and devise solutions.  Others seem to hover near the point of exhaustion.  Meanwhile, brain research studies on multi-tasking's lack of efficacy have begun appearing.  None of this bodes well for high quality decision-making.  

The leadership development experts have begun socializing the "new" competencies that governing in an increasingly complex 21st century will require - but is the task just skills acquisition, or are people in the most technologically advanced cultures approaching some sort of inner limit?  Happe's post puts a much needed and very credible context around this issue of "not enough time."  I think her vision is attractive because it focuses on quality, is sustainable, and in the long run will deliver more value.  What do you think?


  1. Just read Communities - The New Strategic Imperative which I to be well written and thought out. This type of phenomenon is highly visible in the government sector. We are used to going through the chain of command and there are highly structured ways of doing things in government service due to a span of control required by management and supervisors as this is the way it has always been done. Just think, if we were truly treated like adults and allowed to do our jobs in the most efficient and doable manner, why it would shock everyone because that's just not how it's done or taught in business classes. We, as humans, have not kept up with technological change and this has been with us for years.
    Just to give an example, the goverment sector sends out huge amounts of written documents and ship them to where they need to go. How many agencies are using file transfer protocol to set up free and secure websites to send documents 600 + pages via of a website transfer?
    We no longer need to pay shipping charges. We were told to save paper as we did not have the funds. So people started coping documents on both sides instead of one. However, by using file transfer protocol to set up a secure website to send 600 + pages of documents several times a days saves time, money, trees. What else can we be doing with technology. I can hardly wait to find out.

  2. 1. The human response to complexity is to simplify the input. On the bad side, you get prejudices that can screen out useful ideas. On the good side, you have "battle drills" that enable you to take an effective, albeit not optimal, response rather than being paralyzed by the diversity of options.

    2. As a program manager, the success path has been to be clear about and hew to the intent. It is easier to tolerate complexity if you only have to deal with how to adapt the situation to keep making progress towards the goal, even if the actual route has to be a bit circuitous. This has worked even in pretty dysfuntional rganizations. Those who are constantly reinventing their programs to respond to the wind of the moment, or trying to fix top-level problems before moving forward on their own path, will simply spin in circles.