This tweet inspired this post.

In another case, I was asking too many specific questions, which I thought were harmless, but they were un-intentionally setting off a chain of useless workflow at a company because when a board member asks a question everyone drops what they are doing to answer it, even if it isn’t all that important.

Feedback for Board Members – Javelin VP – Medium

This one really hits home and is related to the Executive Makes Request and No One Asks Questions problem that happened recently.

This has happened at every place I’ve ever worked in support. An Executive makes a request like “I need X for a meeting.” This triggers a flurry of activity. Meetings are called. People are given marching orders. There’s a flurry of activity caused by this request.

This is all as it should be. Until questions are asked.

Questions such as “When is this meeting?” Well… um…. I don’t know. “Where will this meeting be held? And for approximately how many people?” Um…. I don’t know. Just make it happen.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been given orders like make it happen without the most minor details provided or questions answered.

This leaves the people responsible for making it happen in a awkward position because they often don’t have the power to ask or know who to ask for details when their managers also don’t know them.

And no one will ask the Executive in question for this information, or go through their assistant.

So what should be a 5 minute conversation often turns into (if you’re lucky) a single day of meetings, phone calls, IMs, and activity all in the service of nothing.

All of this motion wastes all of this time and at the end of it, you’re still no closer to a successful execution because you don’t know what to execute.