High Risk Choices
When organizations limit WhiteSpace opportunities, they expect people to run at peak levels continuously without downtime. There are three clear, measurable consequences of these choices.
1. "BUSYNESS" REPLACES RESULTS-FOCUSED PRODUCTIVITYOvercrowded calendars and stuffed meeting agendas are not signs of success. In fact, both are hazardous situations. Time-starved employees make poor decisions and can apply faulty mental models to important issues. Instead, WhiteSpace provides a structured method for employees to be thoughtful rather than make critical decisions on reflex and instinct. Affected metrics: productivity per employee, employee satisfaction, meetings, email, revision cycles
2. WE DRAIN THE CREATIVE CAPACITY OF EMPLOYEESOrganizations pursue world-class talent and compensate them well. But in a WhiteSpace-deficient setting, talented people lose the ability to elevate their creativity and achieve meaningful wins. The time it takes to solve problems increases and the quality of solutions is reduced. Conversely, a WhiteSpace organization creates norms that allow individuals to perform at a sustainable creative capacity. Affected metrics: creativity, employee engagement, perceived organizational support, perceived team support, perceived supervisory support
3. WE DRIVE AWAY THE BEST TALENTWe would never red-line a machine the way we are willing to red-line the personnel in our organizations. Because relentless busyness is the norm, we trick ourselves into believing that there is no price to pay in the area of our talent. But top contributors recognize when circumstance causes their performance becomes diminished. We see their eyes glaze over in the face of unnecessary process complexity; we hear their frustration with endless presentation revisions; passion and energy wane as they begin to glance towards the door. If the best of the best aren't nurtured, they will quickly disengage and eventually leave. Affected metrics: employee engagement, employee satisfaction, burnout, turnover
"Today, no leader can afford to be indifferent to the challenge of engaging employees in the work of creating the future. Engagement may have been optional in the past, but it's pretty much the whole game today."
- Gary Hamel