Hanes HallbirnSaturday,8 December 2012

The Snap:

I do a lot of freelance work. Thus, I’m exposed to a lot of interesting/weird scenes within various corporations, from propaganda machines that would make Kim Jong-Il proud, to subcultures of people who flee their offices to eat in hardware store parking lots. Weird shit.

And now I think I’ve seen it all.

The Download:

In my current gig, I produce content for a large Fortune 500 company. I think the cool kids call it Content Marketing, but whatevs. I just get to make shit, and I like it that way. My responsibilities include blogging, ghost writing, web development and visual content production (videos, infographics, etc.).

I’ve done this type of work for companies of all sizes, but I can attest that there are many advantages to big-company work: better tools (actual licensed software FTW!), bigger budgets, and more people to share the workload. On the contrary, the over-engineered processes,  multi-leveled approval loops and frequent groupthink black holes are just maddening.

What I’ve come to realize is that these downsides are all related paranoid ass-covering. As unemployment remains stubbornly high and wages remain historically low relative to corporate profits, many employees at large companies are simply scared into a constant state of indecisiveness. This has a variety of negative ramifications, from lower employee moral to a decreased level of productivity for companies.

So here’s tip for all the suits out there (this consulting is free… if you want content work, you’ll have to hire me): take a look at your process flow diagrams — especially approval cycles — and assess where the CYA steps reside. Cut those steps from the process. Invest in training for your employees instead, so that they’re equipped to make good decisions quickly, while simultaneously mitigating risk. The combination of empowering your employees and reducing project cycle times will help you squeeze even more from your drones valuable knowledge workers (Oh wait. Shit. Was that my outside voice?).

Hat Tips:

Business Insider, Image Credit: Flickr

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