Process a waste of time? LO13299

Myers, Kent (
Fri, 18 Apr 1997 17:26:50 -0400

Replying to LO13253 --

When a group spends a lot of time making a pedestrian list, the real
problem is that it is a pedestrian list, not that it took a lot of time.
The overemphasis on time promotes the sale of meetingware, which helps us
make pedestrian lists faster.

It's a weak defense of groupwork to claim secondary benefits (such as team
formation, mutual understanding). These benefits aren't always needed or
worth the effort.

Groupwork is defensible as an aid to creativity and action, but those
results are contingent on the specific technique and are especially
contingent on the presence of willing and able participants.

One group mystified me. We ran a strict process that clearly eliminated
facilitator influence on the product. The result was clearly good, but
many of the participants gave speeches at the end claiming that the
results were pedestrian. I wondered why they said this. One reason might
be that they were imitating the behavior of top bureaucrats who maintain
stature by showing that they have high standards. Another thought I had
was that these individuals were wiling and able to be creative, but not to
act. If they say the results are worthless, then there is no obligation
to use them.


Kent Myers Richard S. Carson Assocs Falls Church, VA

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