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2-061 Dismissed with exception

In other words; “I’ve heard enough! Get out and stay out!”


The laws of Parkinson (the psychologist)

I bring up Parkinsons law a lot. In my line of business people mostly think I’m talking about a law by the Guy that first described Parkinson’s disease, but that’s not the Parkinson I’m talking about. It a law by the psychologist Cyril Northcote Parkinson that states: “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. And it’s true for me when I have a job to do within an hour I mostly use the whole hour… but when I get two hours for the same job, I’ll probably use two hours. My bet is this is true for many people, if not most people.

I got to thinking about this, because last week I learned of a second law by the same guy that I believe to be very, very true (also); “Parkinson’s law of triviality” (and it kinda remotely fits into this scene… well, it has something to do with it). That one states that: “that members of an organisation give disproportionate weight to trivial issues.” And this is probably most visible at meetings, but these days also in e-mails and other discussions. At first I didn’t understand, but I liked this example provided on wikipedia: “a fictional committee whose job was to approve the plans for a nuclear power plant spending the majority of its time on discussions about relatively minor but easy-to-grasp issues, such as what materials to use for the staff bike shed, while neglecting the proposed design of the plant itself, which is far more important but also a far more difficult and complex task.” Because the bike shed is relatively easy, many people will (feel they) have more knowledge on the subject and probably feel more comfortable talking/ writing about it and what to show everybody they are around, etc…. hence the endlessly long discussions about nothing! I absolutely hate that, but now I realise I’m part of the problem. Hmmm, I will have to do something about that.

Do you have the same experience on these two laws?

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