Have you ever wondered why large companies seem inefficient compared with small businesses? Peter Stoyko at Fugitive Knowledge says the problem is the long tail of support staff stretching behind executives helping them to deal with an ever-growing workload.
Stoyko is concerned that the ever-lengthening tail amounts to decreasing corporate productivity.
I’m amazed that Stoyko got through his entire, thoughtful and useful online essay, without mentioning Parkinson’s Law: Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.
There’s ALWAYS an element of Parkinson’s Law in large organisations. Managers love building empires. They see a big empire with lots of office cubicle peons running around at their bidding is a marker for success.
Stoyko makes the obvious connection between corporate organisational long tail and the military logistical tail. A good metaphor. But remember, the Viet-cong beat the US Army and the Taliban thrashed the Soviets in Afghanistan. The right model for a smart business is to operate like guerillas, not an imperial army.