What would you consider a good week at work? In business there are natural ‘laws’ that impact our businesses. One that has a daily impact is that ‘nature abhors a vacuum*’, the ‘universal law’ that says an empty or unfilled space is unnatural and so there will always be a tendency to fill the void.
Let’s look at couple of common examples of its impact on management in business.
What happens if no one sets a team their priority? Well, this is where the ‘universal law’ applies straight away. Without guidance from the management of the company, individuals and teams will fill any void by setting their own priorities, creating a breeding ground for ‘productive avoidance’. With everyone singing from different hymn sheets, there is very little chance of the business achieving the outcomes required by the business owner.
The crucial role of any manager is to identify key priorities and then clearly communicate and agree goals with individuals and teams that are aligned to meet those key priorities. This ensures the business has focus and avoids the tangled mess that follows when everyone is setting their own agendas.
How does an individual know what constitutes a good week at work?
It’s a need of human beings to know that they are being worthwhile, but how is that assessed?
If the definition of what constitutes a good week for an employee is not clearly defined then the ‘universal law’ will kick in and fill the void.
Without clarity, the employee will unconsciously set some actual or perceived measures for themselves. For example, they may measure a good week by their take home pay or by throwing the odd sickie without being caught or just by doing the minimum possible.
The list can go on and on and, although they are not always as negative as the examples above, the problem is they are all being set by the employee, not the company. The commercial impact on the business could be huge with lost hours, lack of interest and poor motivation.
The manager, by setting KPIs that are aligned to measure the progress of the goal, ensures that there is no void to be filled and the ‘universal law’ cannot have a negative impact.
Consider where the Law of Vacuum is impacting your business. Awareness is the first step to understanding how you can control its influence.
P.S. *Before any physicists out there protest, we’re well aware that this is not exactly a ‘universal law’ but is an idiom derived from the ancient philosopher, Aristotle and therefore technically not a scientific rule. But, in business, it kind of is!