Most business activity is slowing down, not accelerating. In benchmarking the speed of key processes across the corporate sector, we find again and again that decision-making at even the most basic level has slowed materially over the past five to 10 years. A few examples from our research illustrate this trend.American corporate life is getting more bureaucratic by the day. Everyone seems to be nervous, which leads to more reviews of every decision, more documents subjected to scrutiny by lawyers, and so on. As to whether this is better or worse for the companies or the economy as a whole, I won't venture to guess, but it sure is miserable for the people who have to put up with it.
Hiring a new employee, for instance, now takes 63 days, up from 42 in 2010, according to a 2015 study we did with 400 corporate recruiters. Meanwhile the average time to deliver an office IT project increased by more than a month from 2010 to 2015, and now stands at over 10 months from start to delivery. . . The time required for one company to sell something to another, for example, has risen 22% in the past five years, as gaining consensus from one or two buyers has turned into five or more.
Monahan places some of the blame on the electronic tools that are supposed to encourage cooperative work, which have
created an environment in which 60% of employees must consult with at least 10 colleagues each day just to get their jobs done.Saving time with technology, again.
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