Process Improvement And Packing The Dishwasher

I love this picture.  I saw this hearfelt and passionate plea in a kitchen area on the campus of a leading Life Sciences company.

The complete and total frustration, nay depair, of the author is evident. And the scrawled response “or you will be sent to bed” just makes it more hilarious.

What’s interesting, though, is that this is one of the most organised and diligent organisations I’ve ever worked with. And everyone I’ve ever met there is bright, switched on and seemingly hard-wired for collaboration. This is the last place you’d expect to see freeloaders and a societal breakdown.

I took another picture on that same campus that day.  I was knocked out by  an official corporate comms poster on a restroom wall.  [Don’t worry – if I ever come to your workplace, I do know how to behave…] 

It was an outstanding poster on the theme of collaboration, and, in particular, on the value of simplicity in allowing everyone to get engaged and work more efficiently. I can’t show the whole poster without revealing the organization (and probably infringing copyright) but here’s part of it.

Even organizations such this – an organization that installs in its restrooms high quality artwork promoting process as an enabler for more effective collaboration – even such an organization can still fall apart when it comes to packing the dishwasher.

There’s a lesson here. If process is to fulfil its potential as the language of the enterprise, then it absolutely has to be simple – capable of being understood by everyone. And if process management is to be the platform that enables effective collaboration across the enterprise, then it absolutely has to be robust but also intuitive and engaging. Otherwise it’s about as sustainable as a kitchen rota.

Related Posts

19 Nov 2012    No Other Corporate Asset Is Wasted So Spectacularly

05 Sep 2012    Translating An Operating Model Into Real Work

© Text Michael Gammage 2012

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