After talking us into it, its interesting to see how the media is now telling us how to manage during a recession.
Despite the impact of the banks self-made crisis, people I am talking to are still working hard. Times are always tough when you are running a business, and having waves of negative publicity rolling over you doesn’t help. When faced with a decision, it will be more tempting to play it safe than to take a small risk.
I’m not talking people into taking unacceptable risks, but to look carefully at what is a real risk, and what is a perceived risk.
I had an email from an ex-colleague yesterday who, in reply to my question asking how they were, replied “peddling faster than ever”.
While glad that they are “busy”, and apparently still enjoying the challenge of their work, I was left wondering whether the extra effort being used was resulting in extra output and benefit to the organisation.
I can still clearly recall the story from years ago, when I worked at IBM, when an employee under threat of redundancy started working every hour he could – to improve his chances of being kept on. Sadly, he was one of the many 100′s (1,000′s?) who lost their jobs, and I suspect one of the main reasons he went was because he had failed to understand that it’s not inputs that matter, it’s outputs. His extra work did not increase his contribution and value to the company.
We have to focus on what difference our work makes, which is a bit more complicated than just working differently (or harder).