Is there a concept in the modern workplace that has become more of a joke than "The Paperless Office?"
I think not.
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No, The Paperless Office is the planner's equivalent of a Whoopie Cushion. In all but the most bizarre and exceptional workplaces, it was a joke from the start.
Why? Because we love paper. We like its feel and its smell. [Remember those tests in elementary school and how 25 noses immediately sniffed the hallowed product of the mimeograph machine? Those who do not have been deprived of a marvelously sensual experience.]
Paper serves not just as a recording instrument but as an visible nudge, a symbolic and therapeutic item to crumple, a basketball or baseball, a tangible piece of evidence that can be waved dramatically or quietly passed, a doodle sheet, and an easily transported bit of wisdom.
If we'd started with electronic files, we'd have danced in the streets when someone invented paper. The Paperless Office folks tried to disguise their approach as an advance but, deep down inside, we all knew it was a Great Leap Backward.
Paperless? No way.