Wednesday, September 05, 2018

The Out-Basket

black framed eyeglasses on top of white printing paper

[Photo by Jonathan Richard at Unsplash]

One of the seemingly smallest and yet quite important questions in a manager's workday is "What happens after I put something in my out-basket?"*

This was quite jarring back in 1984 when I started a one-person consulting practice. I put things in my out-basket and, lo and behold, they stayed there until I did something with them.

That was not a happy moment.

But let's get beyond that sad anecdote and consider what happens in larger organizations. How quickly is the material handled? Is special attention given to special items?

Of course, the in-basket can be equally important. Who determines what lands there? Which items are screened out so they never reach it? And is the material organized in a manner that facilitates sound decision-making?

Simple devices. Good questions.

*The subject itself may date me. I see fewer and fewer of the old-fashioned out-baskets. All that may mean is the problem is now largely electronic.

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