I drive past a school on my way to work. The school zone lights flash and the speed limit is 15. This is good. I prefer not to have any small children run over. However, during spring break, the school was not open. Still, the lights flashed and we drivers dutifully tooled along at 15 mph.
I started to think about why we were doing that. But, that was the wrong question. We drivers were going 15 mph because it was the law. We had to. The real question was why the sign was still flashing?
Well, because it’s programmed for Monday-Friday during the school year. That’s why. No one changed it, just because school wasn’t in session.
The next week at work we (meaning my department) spent 2 full days (9 people at a time) stuffing envelopes that contained individualized information for each manager. Back in the dark ages, this was the only way the managers could get this particular tidbit of information. But now, thanks to the wonders of the Internet, this exact same information is available to each manager who bothers to log on and enter their password.
Why were we stuffing envelopes? Because we do every year at this time. Like the flashing school lights, they should have been turned off when the situation changed. But they weren’t. We’ve always done it, so dang it, we’re going to keep doing it!
And we tool along at 15 mph rather than saying, “Hey, circumstances have changed. No one is going to get run over! My car is capable of going 45 mph, let’s do it!”
What is your company still doing that they really should give up?