43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Corporate Adoption/Measurement of GTD-like Returns

Hello All,

I am a big believer in a lot of concepts talked about on this site--I've gotten a lot of personal benefit from them (thanks Merlin, et. al.). The Kool-Aid has been delicious.

My problem: the "big company" approach to the problems of today's knowledge worker is to prescribe tools--rather than helping people figure out how to use those tools. I see a lot of co-workers drowning in information ... they want help, but the corporation is hard-pressed to give it to them.

I've got an opportunity to talk to a senior exec about this--to basically propose that there are ways (be it GTD or Bit Literacy or whatever) we can help people be less stressed and more productive. I'm going to ask for some resources ($) to work on this problem, and I've done all the pro-forma modeling of what even 5 minutes gained and one less meeting a week would mean for the division (big $).

Proving this quantitatively, however, is really, really difficult. Do any of your have experience measuring the returns of Life Hacks? If not, do you have any ideas? I'm going the route of employee satisfaction, as I think that's one of the lagging indicators ... but that's probably not going to be enough.

Thanks for the great site!


MarinaMartin's picture

I’m a corporate efficiency

I'm a corporate efficiency consultant, so I run into this situation a lot.

I do not recommend the route of employee satisfaction. Companies may measure it and may claim to care and may claim to acknowledge that satisfaction impacts productivity, but I've never sat down with so much as a mid-level manager who even mentioned it.

I find the key selling point to be that a more efficient [GTD-inclusive] system can eliminate the time employees spend on necessary but low-priority administrative tasks and free them up to spend more time on tasks that have more significant impact on the bottom line.

For example, in a sales-oriented environment, having a system that effortlessly feeds next actions frees each agent up to make MORE sales contacts on a daily basis, because they aren't spending time aimlessly tracking down the next call or having their attention span broken as they unnecessarily switch between tasks willy-nilly.

It also increases management's ability to quantitatively track progress and creates peer pressure for positive progress. Nothing gets people moving like a company-wide @WAITINGON list!

If want some more specific suggestions, please feel free to email me privately.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


Subscribe with Google Reader

Subscribe on Netvibes

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe on Pageflakes

Add RSS feed

The Podcast Feed


Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »