Friday, February 18, 2011

Work and mission statements

“Unless a decision has 'degenerated into work,' it is not a decision; it is at best a good intention. This means that, while the effective decision itself is based on the highest level of conceptual understanding the action to carry it out should be as close as possible to the working level and as simple as possible...

“In fact, no decision has been made unless carrying it out in specific steps has become someone's work assignment and responsibility. Until then, there are only good intentions.

“This is the trouble with so many policy statements, especially of business: the contain no action commitment. To carry them out is no one's specific work and responsibility. No wonder that the people in the organization tend to view these statements cynically if not as declarations of what top management is not going to do.”— The Essential Drucker, pages 241-242, 249

<idle musing>
Reminds me of a line I read the other day from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
“Great is the art of the beginning, but greater is the art of ending.”

Perhaps that's why New Year's resolutions only last about a week or two? No action plan with no accountability = nothing happens.
<idle musing>

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