Saturday, 22 January 2011

Have you ever heard of the 80 / 20 principle ?

The idea being that you end up spending 80% of your time with 20% of people. In business this could signify that you spend 80% of your resource time with the customers that either make up 20% of your customer base. This means that the remaining 80%'s needs get ignored as you don't have the time left to help them.

In my work, this can mean that I spend 80% of my time with a very few members of my team, which in itself isn't something to object to. The danger though, is that all that time is severely unlikely to deliver anywhere near a decent return on all that time spent. It's also likely that the rest of the team don't get any quality time as a result.

That can lead to resentment of that person(s) by the rest of the team, who perhaps are really desperate to spend some time with their manager, and get some support.

Now if the person(s) taking that amount of time up, do actually really need that help, or if they feel particularly insecure, they'll feel considerably worse if they can feel or see the reaction of their colleagues to them. It might be very easy for that to quickly be about personal feelings, rather than tasks or actions.

It's a tricky situation, and not that easy to deal with, whilst emotions run so high.

If everything that I had to deal with in my job was easy to fix, they wouldn't have to pay me so much, and I wouldn't feel so rewarded when I get them sorted. You really don't get job satisfaction if you don't work hard, but working hard isn't the only answer. No one wants to slog on and on and on endlessly with no outcome in sight.Working hard is not enough in itself. We, you, I, need to work smart.

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