Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Point

T and I went to dinner tonight, as we do regularly. The discussion turned towards a common gripe we have.

At work, all of us are confronted with issues. They all have to be dealt with. But, there are many people who pontificate endlessly. You know these people. The folks who like to talk and explain everything in minute, excruciating detail. They explain things that don't need explaining, to show they understand everything.

Not so bad you say. Maybe, but if you work in a high volume, high pressure job, the extraneous blabbering amounts to one thing: it's nonsense. And, I am a non-nonsense kind of person. In my mind, there is a process of dealing with stuff. What is the issue? What are the ways with dealing with the issue? What makes the most sense? How do we implement the solution? Implement it.

The issue is how long it takes to get from point A to point E. Frankly, not as long as it usually does. While -- in the abstract -- I am a fan of decentralized decision-making, it can lead to obvious inefficiencies. Decentralized decision-making generally involves a flat pyramid structure way of dealing with issues. You empower everyone to alow them to contribute to problem-solving. The upside is that people are freed to offer suggestions that may otherwise have not been expressed. The downside is that it creates an environment for nonsense-proliferation. What is gained by some blowhard blathering on about an obvious -- or worse wrong -- point? Yes, that was a rhetorical question.

The issue is whether the tacit, normally-supressed knowledge is valuable enough to outwiegh the inefficiencies of such an approach. Does everyone have something to contribute?

I don't know. I just know that, at times, I find myself annoyed with having to "herd cats" while deflecting nonsense.

Makes for a lot slower trek to the point and beyond.


Anonymous tequilita said...

good lord, i can relate to this right now. in my opinion, everyone may have something to offer, but not all the time. the most valuable teammates are the ones who know when to jump in and when to SHUT UP ALREADY.

9:45 PM  

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