Thursday, April 9th, 2020

Surveillance

“When you hire AMAZING people and give them FREEDOM, they do amazing stuff.” – Seth Godin

As I do occasionally, I am offering you a complete blog post by Seth Godin. It struck me as something that accounting firm leaders will find helpful.

Over the years, I have observed many different ways that partners attempt to monitor the productiveness of their various team members. Some leaders even become obsessed with it. I hope you agree with No. 3:

The Panopticon

There are three ways to tell if people are hard at work in an office:

  1. the boss can watch them go to meetings. And they can watch each other in meetings as well.
  2. the boss can watch them sit at desks in an open office.
  3. we can make promises to each other and then keep them.

It seems as though only the third one is a useful, long-term way to allow us to do our best work together. The first two can help along the way, but if a meeting or an open office exists as a convoluted way to do surveillance, you’re probably wasting precious energy and trust.

And while transferring our work to home makes #1 even easier and #2 irrelevant, I’m still lobbying for #3.

  • "Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost ALWAYS fails because it’s too late."
  • Seth Godin

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