I was facilitating a presentation between India and US teams … and near the end of the presentation, a team leader chimed in (with the intent of praising the project manager) saying, “She’s one of the busiest project managers we have on this team.”
My initial reaction to that was, “So what?!?” …
Personally, I’d rather be known as effective much more than busy.
Then today I came across The Pursuit of Busyness …
And it seems that being busy is something that is of more perceived value because ‘being busy’ must, of course, mean you’re working on a project or with/for a client … that you ‘are busy’ adding to the firm’s bottom line.
Companies that are full of knowledge workers and that have built cultures that value busyness face a potentially sharp dilemma when it comes to E2.0. These companies stand to benefit a great deal if they can build emergent platforms for collaboration, information sharing, and knowledge creation. But they may be in a particularly bad position to build such platforms not because potential contributors are too busy, but because they don’t want to be seen as not busy enough.
I’m seeing this play out right now. The problems are on several levels – for instance, we have a blog written by a senior leader of the firm yet there’s not feed for it … so, folks have to remember to go to the internal site to read the danged thing. Having a feed and allowing us to use a reader prog would hugely increase this leader’s blog. Because one of his concerns is that not enough people are reading his blog. Well, Duh!!!
Folks to remember to go to the site to read it because – um – they’re too busy. (Admittedly, using RSS feeds and readers won’t remove the ‘pursuit of busyness syndrome’ … yet they’d still increase the number of people who read the blog each day).
So, what does the firm value? The senior leader begins a – let’s say ‘conversation’ on the blog. Some folks read it and they even respond with comments. A large number of folks don’t get the information or get involved in the conversations because they’re too busy to remember or whatever. Then these folks grouse about not being informed or not being included.
Did you read the blog?
Well, no. I’ve been really busy.
Yeah, I’m one of the busiest project managers on the team.
Good for you. But are you effective?