In Office Space, the TPS report and cover page memo represent everything that is wrong with office culture. But status reports, performance metrics, and other unsexy documents are inevitable and necessary in every office. I would like to make the case that the TPS report incident exemplifies poor change management, rather than a symbol of everything wrong with the modern workplace.
The nuance in bird skeletons is a perfect metaphor to illustrate why it is critical for every company to define and continually improve its operational infrastructure. Every company has its own mission, programs, culture, stakeholders, and so on, and needs to make sure that the policies, processes, and systems in place explicitly support those components and capture what make the company unique and successful.
The operations infrastructure of a company is like the skeletal system in a body (for the sake of keeping my analogy foolproof, let’s stick with a human skeletal system for now). The bones that make up a skeleton are literally the infrastructure components in the body. Without the bones maintaining the basic shape, the basic body parts (legs, arms, torso, head) can’t move. The same is true in a company – without basic organization units in place (i.e. the structure of departments or function areas), no one would know where they fit in, what they were supposed to do, nor how to do it.
The purpose of this blog is to shine some light on, and insert a little levity into, the decidedly unsexy topic of workplace operations and processes. Like so many other business-related terms, the mere words “operations” and “processes” have become weighted down by complex jargon and highly technical connotations.
While application of rigorous scientific research and development of theories have certainly added tremendous value to the field of business and organizational management at the macro level, I’m here to make the case that many workplace problems can be addressed at the micro level using common sense solutions.