Working Smarter vs. Working Harder LO30447

From: Don Dwiggins (
Date: 08/07/03

Replying to LO30161 --

Jeff Miller writes in LO30601:
> I'm in need of a good article or two that does a nice job of illustrating
> the concept of working harder vs. working smarter. Without bogging you
> down with too much detail, I'm currently working with a group that thinks
> pushing an already maxxed out staff will bring a windfall of results...
> (sound familiar?).

> I can see what's happening, but I'm struggling to successfully communicate
> this to the "overseers" just how counter-productive this approach is.

> So, I welcome in advance any suggestions or leads you can send my way. I'm
> sure there's a dynamite metaphor out there that I've just not found yet.

Here's a few random thoughts that might or might not help:

- Killing the goose that lays the golden eggs

- Worker as surgeon: if the work is valuable to the company, doing it
wrong will harm the company; tired/burned out workers are more likely to
do it wrong. When you have to go under the knife, what shape do you want
your surgeon to be in?

Actually, this may be one of the systems archetypes. Pushing the staff
may well produce perceived short-term benefits; the costs of doing it will
come to light far enough downstream that the connection to the "death
march" is lost.


Don Dwiggins "Experience is what you get when you were expecting something else." -- Seen on an office wall

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.