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Does busy = lazy?

The Titanic. The words can bring many images and ideas to our minds. There are many theories and opinions about why it sank. From the story, we know that the ship received advanced warnings of icebergs. Yet on that disastrous night, when the radio operator received warnings of a nearby ship surrounded by ice, with minutes to go before the accident, he radioed back, “Shut up, shut up, I’m busy.”(1)

From Margaret Wheatley:

Busyness is another form of laziness. As long as we’re working hard, we don’t have to exert any effort to notice whether our work is working, whether it’s leading anywhere good. We don’t have to pay attention to what’s happening, who’s affected, who’s reacting, what the unintended consequences are that clutter the path behind us. We just keep going, busy, thoughtless, ineffective.(2)

What will you choose to pay attention to today?

(1)  (p. 142) Macy, J. & Johnstone, C. (2012). Active Hope. New World Library, Novato, CA.
(2) (p. 79) Wheatley, M. J. (2010). Perseverance. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco, CA.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. DN #

    This is an interesting topic. We often use the excuse that we have to move to the next “thing” and as a result do not check to see that what we have left behind is actually working. But I think this probably only happens with certain org cultures. I do not have any research to validate this, but I am willing to bet that an organization that does not put emphasis into analysis prior to projects beginning do not conduct the analysis after certain implementations are conducted to see if they are successful or not.

    November 3, 2012
    • Friesen Group #

      Thank you for adding your observation to the post. I agree that successful organizations are intentional about analyzing the effectiveness of their processes. Welcome to this space.

      November 6, 2012

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