In your office, people spend lots of time and money on initiatives to boost productivity, satisfaction and engagement. Unfortunately, they’re too busy to see the three elephants who are blocking their path.

elephants in your office But these elephants–Confused, Too Much Time and Stay Away–could once again destroy the village and crops.

This happened in 2008, when Confused made highly educated people pretend to understand “collateralized debt obligations” and “credit default swaps,” triggering the financial collapse. The recovery was delayed, because Too Much Time gave the politicians stimulus legislation that took too long to read. By showing more concern for the big bad banks than the grocery-buying voters, Stay Away pissed off the people, driving many to the Occupy protests or the Tea Party movement.

Think about what could happen with the current European crisis, even if we pretend everyone speaks English. What if one nations writes “I except your proposal” instead of “I accept?” What if the communiques take so long to read that an agreement is never signed? Or what if the hot Greeks and Italians feel alienated by the cold tone of the Germans and French?

Blame the elephants. If they keep growing, the disasters will multiply, not only in the corridors of power, but in your office too.

By following orders only from Spellcheck, Confused leaves employees wondering every time they read about “it’s results.” The IT department’s? Or maybe “It is results” is the hot new slogan they’re supposed to know?

Too Much Time, who is already wasting many hours every day with emails that don’t get to the point, is growing fatter off SharePoint, Twitter and social tools.

Despite all the emphasis on “friends” and “like,” Stay Away is waxing on about “authority endorsements,” extending “best regards” and spraying other gross stuff out of her trunk to keep people at a safe distance.

Everyone seems too preoccupied with new apps to notice how fat and mighty these elephants are growing. But before anyone else gets hurts, they need to learn a lesson from Busy Bee Inc, where one of the drones was smooshed by the weight of email messages from Too Much Time.

Something had to be done to tame the beasts, Queen Bee decided.

She focused on training Confused to think and stop blocking the path to understanding. She put Too Much Time on a diet that hinged on careful portion control. She became an elephant whisperer, appealing to Stay Away in a friendly tone with words that mean something to her.

She averted another smooshing. Better still, the elephants are eating out of her hand. Busy Bee’s productivity, satisfaction and engagement scores have soared. Business is hiving, I mean thriving.

Another happy ending made possible by people writing precisely, concisely and nicely. Will your office’s story end happily too?

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The elephants in your office: a wakeup story

8 thoughts on “The elephants in your office: a wakeup story

  • November 9, 2011 at 3:28 pm
    Permalink

    Well, Stay Away is occupying more and more streets. Soon there will be a new meaning to the tern “1%”: the people left working.

  • November 9, 2011 at 3:28 pm
    Permalink

    Well, Stay Away is occupying more and more streets. Soon there will be a new meaning to the tern “1%”: the people left working.

  • November 9, 2011 at 3:28 pm
    Permalink

    Well, Stay Away is occupying more and more streets. Soon there will be a new meaning to the tern “1%”: the people left working.

  • November 9, 2011 at 3:28 pm
    Permalink

    Well, Stay Away is occupying more and more streets. Soon there will be a new meaning to the tern “1%”: the people left working.

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