Jul 18, 2010

On the Job Advice

A few non specific business links I thought were interesting to read, mostly about getting things done.  Not necessarily the safe approach.

Seth Godin asks: "Why am I here?"

This is a simple mantra that is going to change the way you attend every meeting and every conference for the rest of your life.

You probably don't have to be there. No gun held to your head, after all. So, why are you spending the time?

Boston Globe on: Why setting goals can backfire

IN THE EARLY years of this decade, General Motors had a goal, and it was 29. Determined to boost its flagging profits and reverse a long, steady fall from postwar dominance, the automotive giant did the natural thing: it set a goal. The company pledged to recapture 29 percent of the American market, the share it had ebbed past in 1999.

...industry analysts argue that one of the most damaging things the company did was to set that goal.

In clawing toward its number, GM offered deep discounts and no-interest car loans. The energy and time that might have been applied to the longer-term problem of designing better cars went instead toward selling more of its generally unloved vehicles. As a result, GM was less prepared for the future, and made less money on the cars it did sell.

And one I don't like from Best Life and Career:  5 Tips to Get Unstuck When You Hit a Plateau  I won't quote it, but Take a Class?  Really, this is the best we can do? 

I suggest re-evaluating what is actually value added work and focusing on those items and working to eliminate the rest.  I find that when I get bogged down and don't seem to be making any progress its usually due to overwork which doesn't allow me to focus on what I really feel needs to be done.  Drilling down I find that much of the overwork is due to various individuals' preferences that helps the individual, is marginally useful for myself, but overall bad for the company.  Yeah, you'll get that report reformatted from the database standard, that compliance memo drafted to supplement a non-conformance or corrective action, or that inspection annotated with extra details, but why do you want this from me?  No one else can write a memo?  Choose to do work that matters.  Engineers make more than $50 an hour and you want me to do this several times a week at the expense of work non engineers can't do.

1 comment:

Rankin said...

Thanks for sharing the links.