Spies Like Us

I have reached that age when for Christmas I am given socks, chocolates and paperbacks.

I am half way through this year’s crop of paperbacks and found this quote in a John le Carre novel.

“A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world”

I learnt the same lesson working in a factory (though admittedly nobody was shooting at me).  We were getting customer complaints about a product and spent hours around desks and in meeting rooms brainstorming what the problem was.  We couldn’t work it out until one of my team went for a walk down the manufacturing line.  When he saw it the problem was blatantly obvious and we fixed the issue in about 20 minutes.

So what has this got to do with running an administrative process?  If you want to understand what is going on you need to get away from your desk and look and listen to what is going on.  Making judgements without this information is a dangerous and stupid thing to do.

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