In his new book, “A World Without Email“, author Cal Newport pushes people to consider how administrative work affects performance. In particular, he says:
Why bother hiring a hotshot if the bulk of their time is spent doing administrative work?
I don’t know if “hotshot” is the right word, but I completely agree with his logic. We’ve worked hard to hire employees that are smarter than us (and they surely are!), but it’d be silly to hire talented people and then watch all of their time disappear into email and task lists.
That’s not to say that we’ve solved it, as there is always plenty of administrative work to do, but it’s something we’re continuing to refine. Brooke, our project manager, doesn’t let anything fall through the cracks, so we’re increasingly making her the point person for all tasks that need to be done. While she is keeping things running smoothly, that allows our talented staff (Ashlea/Development, Joanna/Design, Robert/Strategy) to focus on their best skills.
In fact, that really points back to Cal Newport’s older book “Deep Work“, on finding time to really focus on your core competencies. We’ll never get there 100%, but the more we can push toward it, the better we’ll all be.