So much work today lacks purpose or meaning. By focusing on customer and employee tasks we can link what we do with things that really matter.
Traditional old model organizations measure and manage inputs. They measure their employees based on what they produce and the time they spend at work. It’s important to be seen to be busy. The busier you are the more muscular you are. It’s a very macho thing.
Managers produce meetings and air miles and lots and lots of emails. Content people produce lots of content. Programmers produce lots of code. Graphic designers produce lots of graphics. Marketers produce lots of marketing material.
Very, very rarely do employees see what they have produced being used. That’s why so many websites are full of useless, meaningless content. That’s why most intranets are toxic dumping grounds for unreadable, valueless gibberish.
That’s why enterprise search is so unbelievably awful. The people who create the content for the intranet don’t want it to get found. There’s no incentive. They are rewarded for the production of the content, not its consumption. Findability is part of the consumption process so why should the average employee bother making their content findable?
It’s the exact same with enterprise technology, a species of technology that is unspeakably bad and unusable. The people who buy and install this technology are measured and rewarded based on the purchase and ‘on time’ installation of it. They have no incentive to focus on its usability because they are never measured on how the technology is used.
This creates a soul-destroying, purposeless work environment. Employees know that a great deal of what they produce is both unusable and useless, but they feel they are just a cog in a relentless, grinding machine that produces stuff. It is staggering the amount of inefficiency, lost productivity, lost profitability, employee disillusionment and customer annoyance that occurs because of these archaic old-model organization practices.
It doesn’t have to be this way. There is a different model. Measure use. Measure consumption. Measure what the customer and employee are trying to do. Reward based on improved use. Incentivise findability, understandability and doability on the intranet. Reward employees based on how much easier and simpler they make customers’ lives.
Everybody wins. Initially, it is scary to see what you have produced being used. However, when employees start fixing the problems, they get feedback. They see how what they are now producing is more usable, simpler, more findable. It encourages them to want to do better, purposeful work. Measuring use is true digital transformation. It makes for purposeful, fulfilling work.
It makes for more loyal customers because loyalty is use. I am loyal to that which is simple to use. Complexity equals disloyalty and distrust. Complexity is the natural result when you disconnect production from use.
The ordered state moves to the disordered, chaotic state without the right management. The wrong management encourages chaos. Our physical economy was based on scarcity. Therefore, we managed and encouraged production. Our digital economy is based on abundance. Therefore, we must manage and encourage use.
Stop measuring and managing the wrong things. Manage use.