Headache riddle for a manager: ‘How can you organise large groups of people so they keep in close contact without stepping on each other’s toes?’
Knee-jerk answer: write manuals. Many many manuals. With procedures.
Sure: if your bank goes bankrupt, you want to know who burnt your money. And everyone wants solid procedures to prevent these things.
But, procedures muffle personal communication. The good news is: a smart employees will develop the wildest work arounds. Bend a rule or two. Just to do his work as he thinks it should be done. Or to keep things fun.
The other day I took the train with our youngest. As soon as the conductor laid his eyes on her, he seemed to remember something, and started smiling. Out of a hidden pocket, he magically produced a kid’s paper puncher. The tension rose slightly. I could hear a drum roll. Then a dolphin jumped from the ticket punch. It kept my 5-year old grinning for the rest of the train ride.
Still, the little ticket keeps popping up in our house. My daughter is a driven train lobbyist for life.
Thanks a red little plastic puncher.
And a professional out of his box.