Business BS

September 28, 2007

I had a meeting a couple of days ago with one of the large hardware and software vendors. Let’s call them ‘Moon Microsystems’. I’ve been around long enough to hear my fair share of business BS, but this meeting vied for the world record.

Three hours of my life I’ll never get back, I was tempted to stick a fork in my eye for a bit of light relief. Luckily I had a flight to catch and so managed to escape with most of my brain cells largely intact.
And yes, I did try and steer things back but unfortunately I wasn’t chairing the meeting and was only one of ten participants – how expensive must all of that time been?!

Here are some questions for you (see if you recognise any of these):
– Why do we waste so much time in our working lives (and I’m not talking about checking out your Facebook or reading Digg.)?
– Why waste time in unnecessary meetings?
– Why make commitments we can’t keep or undertake projects we know we won’t have time for, or worse still, deliver no value.
– Why spend three hours bullshitting around the issues instead of setting clear and simple actions
– Why do companies get so afraid to try something different?
– Why can’t people give up control, or really and properly let someone else run with an idea?
– Why do we stymie innovation at the expense of the short-term numbers, giving us the exact same problems year on year?
– Why is it always ‘someone else’s problem’?
– Why keep doing the same thing, never learning from past mistakes?
– Why do we find it hard to filter out the ‘noise’?
– Why do we say ‘because that’s the way things are done around here’ to justify mediocrity?

My apologies – I’m feeling a bit frustrated at the moment. Can you tell? 😉 I appreciate that not every company is like this. There are some superstars out there, to be sure, but there sure are a lot of shockers too.

To misquote someone else’s phrase: “strategy without action is just hallucination”.

(oh, and just to be clear: I’m not suggesting ‘Moon’ are like this – I couldn’t possibly know from the one meeting. Let’s say I’m taking an average over multiple companies I’ve seen in action … )