Keyboard Clicks

I’ve come to a realization in my career. One that in retrospect has been true all of my career and could be one of the most significant indicators of the long-term success, or failure, of businesses and organizations big and small. Keyboard Clicks.

I’ve been thinking about recent observations and then comparing them to observations I’ve made as I have worked with businesses ranging from mom and pop pizza restaurant delivery services to the U.S. Military. As you walk around organizations – including you own – do you hear a ton of keyboard clicking? If you do, then you might think, “Wow, this is a busy, and therefore productive and profitable place.” But in reality, that is the sound of complacency.

Over time, I’ve seen businesses go through this pattern:

  • They find a cool (or not so cool) piece of software.
  • They use it to really ramp up their organization, usually using it as their cornerstone.
  • They hit a plateau where they rely on that software – and the clicking that goes into it.


They don’t continue to improve in what they do, nor do they grow.  They keep on doing the same old thing – over and over – for years. Sure, they increase revenue over time and hire more people. But, that’s the thing – they have to hire more and more people to keep clicking keyboards to increase that revenue. But, at the end of the day, the CEO (and worse yet the Board and investors) wonder why they don’t see stronger growth.

So, what does that CEO – or you as a competent product owner/ analyst/technology leader looking to make a difference in your organization – need to be looking at?

  • Automate and stop the keyboard clicking – let people focus on more important things like working with other people.  Others in the organization to help it grow and do the things only people can do, talk to customers to help them with the problems people solve best. (Radical, I know!)  And, as a bonus, you will remove human error.
  • Process Improvement – if you can’t remove the clicking, can you reduce it?
  • Strategy – has your organization taken a fresh look at its short-term and long-term strategies?  Is it stuck and needs to get unstuck and grow into new areas? 

I challenge you to stop right now and listen. What do you hear? Do you hear a ton of keyboard clicking? What are you going to do about it?

Quick Hit – Why I Hate Email, and You Should Too (Because It Kills Productivity) 

[Photo: Tim Gouw via Unsplash]

Ever find that it’s noon and you haven’t accomplished anything on your to-do list? Get a productive jump-start on the day with these tasks.

Source: The First Four Things You Should Do Every Workday

My Vistage leader sent this article out.  It so hits the mark.

Over the years, I find myself cycling back to opening email first thing in the morning, then, basically staying there all day.  This article notes “the morning goes by and nothing got done.”  In my case, much to my chagrin, I find that a week has gone by – and the critical things are not done.  It’s times like these when I need reminders like this.

Reading this article will be the best two minutes you spend today.

Make it a great day.

You have to look for the Cross


I was on the road awhile back and having a really low moment. As I sat in my hotel room, despondent, I was looking at all the squares, or boxes, in the pattern of the carpet. At the moment, it felt very iconic of how I was feeling – boxed in, trapped, frustrated. Then it struck me – for a fleeting moment; instead of boxes, I saw crosses. I felt really moved. I suddenly realized, thanks to the Holy Spirit, that one has to “look for the cross” and focus on that. You have to proactively remember to have Faith; you have to move forward.

I use the word “fleeting” because, just like in life, your brain can quickly shift back away; back to the negative; back to the boxes. It takes constant effort to keep focused on and see the cross; the positive. I’ve been working on keeping that focus. It has been hard, but, improving and paying off.

Keep your focus. If you are a Faith based person, keep it on the Cross; on Him. If that’s not your cup of tea, keep your focus on moving forward; being positive and not focusing on the past. Either way, it will be very rewarding.