The great Archemides was the first person to discover the principle of mechanical efficiency: “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it and I’ll move the world” [Source: Archimedes] This mechanical principle can be applied to knowledge work…YOUR WORK.
Your success depends on how useful your output is to others. Your output depends on information. The more relevant your output, the more job security you will have and the more recognition you will receive. Handling information wisely and efficiently is in your best interests and the interests of your stakeholders. There is ONE thing you can do to information that replicates Archemides’ principle as applied to office work.
- PRECONDITION DATA. Preconditioning data involves defining and refining it to better fit your needs and those of your stakeholders.
How do you precondition information? Go have a chat with each person who sends your daily information and those who receive your outputs. Yup…get off your chair and out of your cubicle or office! Agree on what is “useful” information and a methodology that will streamline or pre-format the data to make it more relevant and more immediately useful to each party. You can ask these questions:
- What can you and I do to make the information more useful to both me and you so we both can do our jobs better?
- What can we do to strip out and elminate any low-value data and any potential time wasters?
- Is there anything we do not get today that would make the information more useful to each of us?