4 Responses to “Managing Metawork”

  1. Tim Walker Says:

    Good points, Russ. However . . . done right, metawork itself can be a source of strength. Easiest example: Toyota.

    One of Toyota’s mottoes is “Fix everything two ways.” When there’s a leak, you fix the leak, but you also rectify the underlying condition that led to the leak (or that would have uncovered the leak sooner, etc.).

    If metawork is really just documentation for SOX, keeping the lights running, etc., then by all means your advice here is perfect.

    But some companies have actually figured out how to mine their metawork to make the company better at the strategic level.


  2. rsomers Says:

    Thanks Tim – that’s a great observation. I was writing in response to the frequent assumption that metawork is, by definition, trivial. It’s not, and Toyota’s a great example of that.

    Your contrast between keep-the-lights-on metawork and improve-the-business metawork makes sense. And the second kind in particular can create huge value for customers, shareholders and employees. Which is why, even though it’s metawork by a strict definition, it doesn’t feel trivial at all.

  3. Tim Walker Says:

    More fuel for the fire: “Metadata is worldview; sorting is a political act.” (Source: http://is.gd/tw1H )

    Making the analogy to metawork, what sort of worldview (or “politics”) does the company’s metawork reflect — and foster?

  4. rsomers Says:

    Great question! Pondering while I complete my TPS reports 😉

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