I heard the phrase dozens of times: “We really can’t get the job done anymore. We need to onboard an additional person in the team.”
Unfortunately, this doesn’t solve the problem of not getting things done. It makes it worse: the more people are added to a team, the less productive work seems to get done .
The whole problem behind this unstoppable (mostly male) desire to have a lot of direct reports, is that those extra people are willing to work hard, but will mainly spend their day communicating (emailing) and having meetings with each other… resulting in getting even less things done than when the team was half as big.
Behind the problem lies just a simple mathematical formula:
- A team with 5 persons will generate 10 individual communication lines
- A team with 10 persons will generate 45 individual communication lines
- A team with 20 persons will generate 190 individual communication lines
- And the 21st person added to the team, will create 20 additional communication lines
- … and so on
This is the reason why Lemarco stood for the ‘Lean Marketing Company’ when created 12 years ago. And it still holds true.
Maybe I’m not so masculine after all.