Tuesday 5 August 2014

Why certain practices in companies stay the way they are despite being silly.

Two points:

This story illustrates the point succinctly.

2) I have a personal non-work example.
When I was very young in the early 60's we didn't have a 'cooker'.
We had a coal fireplace and 'hobs' which were swinging cast-iron arms that moved over the fire.
You put kettles, pots etc on them and your food got cooked.

For several years we moved from house to house and then to Australia in 1968.

It had a gas cooker that was so big you could put a side of beef in.
I watched my mother get a roast ready.
She got the roast and cut the top third off and placed the 2/3rd and 1/3rd next to each other in a tray.
I wondered why, but didn't ask her why.

Then in 1977 I travelled to the UK and visited my Aunt and Uncle.
My Aunt did exactly the same thing my mother did.
2/3rd 1/3rd of a roast in a tray.

Later that year I visited my GrandParents.
To my total surprise I saw her do the same thing.
I asked why.
Her response:

"When I was young we only had a cooker that was about 4 inches tall run by coal.
So I cut the top off the roast so that it would fit.
I just haven't changed."

Ah. I see.
We tend to do the same things because other people do it that way because of some reason that doesn't matter anymore.

So. Re-evaluation time for your habits.

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