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21 February 2011


Brav-o, Bill. This is the kind of thinking that's sorely needed in many places. I blogged on this in a similar vein last month
(http://christianleanings.com/2011/01/19/doing-the-right-thing/), but your specific examples really bring it home.


The PR fallout from this incident will cause Crane Interiors immeasurably more in lost sales than whatever production time they lost when Ms. Danford took that call. Typical myopic management. Every company needs to have a "Common Sense" policy along with their standard employee handbook.

Excellent comparison of opposites Bill. An extreme case of following procedure can also be seen routinely in otherwise well-intentioned Zero Tolerance policies in our schools. These often cause (or allow) administrators to operate in a Zero Judgement zone instead. Interpreting the facts and making decisions is difficult work, but that's what managers are paid for.

This morning on the radio I heard the female CEO of a factory say she joined a gym a couple of years ago. She felt so much better she asked her 170 workers if they were doing gym. No one. They are female textile workers, some in their 30s and 40s, and can't afford it. Anyway they have no time when they get home.

So the CEO installed gym equipment in the factory.

Very few workers made use of it.

So the CEO made gym compulsory -- twice a week -- and *paid* them extra for their gym time.

Now everyone gyms, morale is better, productivity is up, and absenteeism down 70%.

As the CEO said, "Don't invest in the latest computers and stuff, invest in your staff."

Very well said. Good point about the platitudes spouted about "people are our strongest asset". You can not effect a culture change through sreadsheets. Walk the walk. Respect for people. Accomplish the mission, welfare of the troops. Great post.

Bill, This is a great lesson in Real Lean and the Respect for People principle. Thanks for sharing it.


I'm actually in shock. Not about the kind of crap bosses regularly distribute to workers to maintain discipline. I am shocked that you agreed to relegate something like taking calls while at work as a privilege to be granted by magnanimous employers. I am shocked that you so casually submit continuing to exist as people, even while at work, to company 'policy'. You think that appealing to the sense of humanity of bosses is really the way forward? Profits before people as ever. Yeah! "go ahead and do the right thing IF it gets the profits up". Allrighty. Thanks so much.


Jeeeze Zeh. Lighten up! You might want to consider the possibility that there are legitimate safety concerns for having people yacking on the phone while operating machinery. An awful lot of states are passing laws preventing people from talking on cell phones while operating cars, after all. It just might be that someone could get hurt or killed as a result of paying attenton to the phone instead of the 100 ton press they are operating. Every work policy is not the demonic oppression of your God given rights - just some of them :)

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