10 things we could do without at work

From many varied years experience in a variety oif sectors comes the list below…. in no particular order……

  1. The To Do List: the tyranny of the predictable – write it then bin it. The list of things you HAVE to do is much smaller than you think. Allow yourself room for spontaneity, and room to breathe. See where the day takes you, don’t take the day with you.
  2. The Dress Code: in an age where we create a whole social and professional identity, do we really need to be told what to wear? It is sometimes assumed that this means casual dress. On the contrary, it means you choose. If you select a formal suit and tie, great.
  3. Weekly team con calls, because somehow we think we ought to have them but no-one knows why. Hub and spokes calls benefit only the hub.
  4. Scripted presentations – the systems are all the same, whether PowerPoint, Prezi or any one of the tools that do the same. And bullets are killers, however they are delivered. Use great stories instead.  
  5. Mission statements – spend time dressing up what you are going to do, or just get on with it.
  6. Town hall meetings – as impersonal and contrived as communication ever gets. A floor for the loudest and boldest, a huge hole in the ground for the shy and nervous. And a guarantee that the real issues and concerned will not be mentioned in front of that many people.
  7. Annual performance appraisals – lets summarise +/- 1,800 hours’ work in an hour. They are no substitute for motivation, coaching and continual appraisal.
  8. Business Cards – it’s all on your e-mail signature or LinkedIn profile, so why bother? As has been pointed out in some cultures they are a requirement – but hey, you can break with tradition, can’t you? If you must have them, make your own.
  9. Motivational Posters – they have the same effect as motivational quotes on Twitter – a fully deserved Unfollow. I tried to think of a suitable quote here, but fortunately couldn’t.
  10. The donut tray. On the one hand the workplace sees the promotion of wellness (usually through irritating motivational posters – see No 9) and on the other accepts the birthday/wedding/etc tray of not-very-krispy-creamy coronaries, usually brought in by the object of the celebration. Those with a reason to celebrate be advised – don’t say it with donuts. Ever.

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