I read this in the Harvard Business Review and just had to pass it on:
The result of trying to drive more work through fewer people, and at greater speed, is a jamming of the queue. There is simply no way to get everything done in the accelerated time frames that many managers expect. So while their intentions are to move quickly on things, the reality is that you can only force so much work through the eye of the needle.
Yesterday, I had to ask someone to do something but I could see that she was already stressed and under a lot of pressure. Although I really needed it done, I said, “Well, just do it if you can.” Immediately, her stress vanished. Within two hours, she did what I had asked. (I find that just relieving their pressure, frees people up to get a lot more done.)
Ron Ashkenas wrote the article in the Harvard Business Review. You can read the article and his solutions here.
Shar McBee, author of “To Lead is to Serve”