WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?
Let me share with you one of the most powerful ways I know to identify those outdated and dangerous habits that persist in the workplace. Over the next week, make a list of every task you do on a daily basis, no matter how mundane. In fact, the more mundane, the better. Then at the end of the week, schedule a meeting with your manager to ask some tough questions.
For each task on the list, your manager must answer the question “Why am I doing this task?” When you get the answer, you need to act like a kid, and ask why again. And again. And again. Until eventually one of two things can happen. One possibility is that your manager provides a real answer that makes sense. In this case, the questioning can stop, and you have gained a useful understanding of the value you provide in the bigger context. In fact, you can take it a step further by following up with, “How else can I achieve the same aim, but with a more efficient and sensible process?”
The other possibility is that your manager is unable to provide you with a sensible answer. You’ l l k now y o u ’ v e reached this point if your manager responds with, “Because that’s the way it ’s done around here.” This is an unacceptable answer, and there is only one good response – stop doing the task, because no-one can tell you why Dr Symanowitz is an actuary and founder of BlockbusterInnovation.com.