Monday, March 06, 2006

Parkinson: Other laws - the perfect building for a company.

You're probably familiar with Parkinson's Law: "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion."
Northcote Parkinson, an astute observer of human nature (and something of a reactionary) formulated many other laws as well, and some of these deserve better rememberance. My favorite is this one (I'm paraphrasing):
When a company or other organization is finally able to plan and build the perfect building for itself, the building best suited to its needs, that organization is in the throes of petrification and death.
Parkinson observed that a vital organzation is always working in makeshift quarters, cramped spaces, making do, and splitting up into multiple sites to handle its overflow of employees. The dying organization has time to plan, and perhaps a static target to plan for. Beware of that perfect building. (I've worked for three companies that followed this law faithfully; the third time, it was easy to see that the company was obeying this Parkinson law.)
Post a Comment