7 signs it is all going to go wrong

1: Men with pens in rooms

If you’re in a room with men with pens, just leave. It will inevitably result in documents. Certain and self assured documents. That’s what the pens are for. If you’re in a room with men with pens those pens will be used, they will produce action points, notes, and inevitably a document. Speaking of which…

2: Filling in a document

Start with filling in a document, you end up with a filled in document. That’s all you’re going to get. I’m filling in a document right now. For the purposes of completing a filled in document. All documents are good for is documenting that a document has been filled in. So don’t fill in documents unless that’s all you’re interested in.

3: “going forward

If anybody ever says this in your presence, get away, quickly. Anywhere. Nothing good can come of anything after those words are spoken. Soufflés will deflate, small children will scrape their knees raw, purses will be lost, milk will be spoilt. It’s like a witches curse.

4: Senior managers approving documents

You can approve documents all you like. Anybody can. “Nice document“, you might say. Or you might say, “I don’t like that, there. Change it.”, or “could you beef up our external legislative drivers, it seems pretty light“.
You could say any of that. Owt you like. I don’t care.

5: Typing

Typing, in general. What are you, some kind of typist?

6: Vigorous nodding

Uh huh, yes, of course, uh huh” etc
People very keen to agree often make this noise. Avoid cos they’re people very keen to agree. And they make this noise.

7: Filing structures

Doesn’t matter what it is, it won’t work. Electronic filing systems make people feel sad and inadequate, cos they’re always a mess like that kitchen drawer full of plastic shopping bags and freezer bags. Or worse, they’re fascistic regimes where you have to apply in writing three months in advance before you change the name of a folder. Either way, doesn’t matter, it’s only full of documents anyway, and they’re always being produced by men in rooms with pens. (See point 1, above)

This entry was posted in all wrong, command and control, systems thinking and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 7 signs it is all going to go wrong

  1. Kojak99 says:

    Another excellent take on ‘Fantasy Land’. This has cheered me up this morning, especially as I’m contending with re-design sessions with processes with more waste than you can shake a stick at. Question “so could you tell me why his step is here?” answer “oh well we’ve always done it that way” question “but what about the customer getting what they want as soon as possible (designing against demand)?” answer “well that’s not my role to do that part of the process”. Queue lots of internal head banging!!!


  2. Sounds like the normal work proces in big companies


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