Regular readers of my ravings know it’s the rare occasion, indeed, on which I agree with Harvard Business Review (HBR). But, as Grandpa O’Brien loved to say, “It’s the exception that proves the rule.” Case in point:
I found myself in wholehearted philosophical and operational accord with this — “Give Your Team the Freedom to Do the Work They Think Matters Most” — especially when I read this:
Human beings have certain universal psychological needs: The need to be treated as intrinsically equal, the need for personal growth, and to exercise self-direction … a shared vision is fundamental.
So, I immediately started sharing everything with everyone at OCG World Headquarters, from our vision to the schedule and outcomes of my podiatric appointments, from the minutes of every meeting to my golf tee times and scores (plus or minus a few strokes here and there, of course), from status updates on every one of our clients to the order of the shorts in my underwear drawer (lighter ones on top, darker ones below, reserves on the bottom, just like everybody else).
Then, with a self-satisfied grin plastered all over my Irish mug, I fired up a Gurkha Black Dragon, mixed up a pitcher of Chopin martinis, put my feet up on my desk, opened my Flipboard app, started meandering through my myriad news feeds, and waited for OCG to start purring like a contented Russian Blue.
The first post that popped up was this: “It’s possible (and dangerous) to be over-inclusive“. When I got to this part, I choked on my martini (thank God my admin was there to give me the Heimlich maneuver, causing the olive I’d aspirated to rocket across the room and land in the martini pitcher) and dropped my stogie in my lap, imperiling a particularly sensitive aspect of my anatomy (good thing my admin was there with a fire extinguisher):
Organizations have … become more sensitive to sharing information equitably among their staff … but it has left some collateral damage … people may burn out because of overwhelming cognitive load and decision fatigue.
What?! I quickly dispatched a series of emails to the OCG Bullpen, reaffirming my commitment to a strict regimen of unconditional inclusion and communicative transparency. At the same time, I made up my mind that, aside from a few trivialities and items of abject insignificance, I wasn’t going to share a damn thing. Honesty may be the best policy, but apparently it’s no way to run a business.
From now on, I’ll be following the advice of the 20th-century philosopher, businessman, and social commentator, Fred Sanford: “Promise ’em the elevator, and give ’em the shaft.”
Thanks for nothing, HBR.