Don’t put your people into an idiosyncratic niche

on January 31 | in | by | with No Comments

Instead, give them what they need to grow and succeed in the larger world.

Of course your organization is unique. But for individual employees, learning unique skills and tools carries a price. That price is overspecialization, cognitive overload, and the inability to join larger communities of users. A few examples:

  • Your organization has its own stylebook. All stylebooks are somewhat arbitrary, but yours is both arbitrary and unique. Follow the AP Stylebook. Or the Chicago Manual of Style. Or the New York Times. Don’t force your people to follow rules that aren’t used anywhere else.
  • You bought a little software package that fits your own personal style of working. That’s fine. Don’t force everyone to use it. SPSS is dying? Adopt SAS or R. Accounting uses homegrown Excel forms built with VBA? Replace them with a QuickBooks add-on.

Choose platforms that are widely used. Follow rules that are widely held. Your employees will thank you.

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