Activity for the sake of activity, ‘busywork’ that does not contribute to an objective associated with creating value for that ideal customer group, is as useful as pushing rope.

Ever pushed rope?

No matter how hard you push your end, nothing happens at the other end, all you get is rings of rope somewhere close to your hand.


The only way to move rope is to go to the other end, and pull it towards the objective.

In most organisations there are barriers to grabbing the end of the rope:

There is no budget

The boss will not like it (worse, the boss’s wife will not like it)

We have not done it before

I am too busy

It is not my job

There are a thousand reasons people push rope, and there is really only one way to change that.

Empowering every employee to stop doing non-productive activities in favour of doing stuff that counts.

Then we need to celebrate the changes made, or the elastic nature of ‘the way it has always been done’ will kick in, and you start pushing the rope again, as it is usually more comfortable than pulling it.