This article is for everyone and anyone who has either led or been led by “The Format Control Board”. Let me explain this puzzling new acronym, FCB, for you. The Format Control Board usually consists of members in every project or change initiative at any level of superarchy (i.e. superiority+hierarchy). These members belong to an elite squad whose main role is to create ongoing templates in an attempt to please the(mselves) leaders of superarchy in every format. Their intentions are usually good and they aim to ensure that the information in every report or document looks great and has the exact format, fonts, colors, number of words vs. pictures. They’re also mind-readers or at least they want to be so that everyone in the superarchy is bamboozled and hopefully never asks any questions about the content.
I think you are getting the picture by now. I have personally written reports and documents in all these formats and sometimes for the same report too! And I am also guilty of having asked some of my team members to do so in the past. BUT I am converted now.
I have no problem with any of these formats and I am not suggesting that they are not useful tools for reporting and documentation. But I am promoting three key words “Reuse, Reduce & Recycle”.
- Reuse any existing company formats that are available via internal branding and communications to create documents, reports, etc.
- Reduce creating such documents if the old school CONVERSATION does it. Remember that thing called trusting each other? Use that more often instead of creating paper trails that are unnecessary and unwanted. In fact, this is where I promote going paperless and documentless if you can.
- Recycle any printed content if no longer required. This will create a clutter free and spacious environment. As above, paperless and documentless might actually work.
TRY the above three principles next time and see if they work.
I want to end this post by thanking Enrique Montoya and Adam Moroff for reasons I don’t need to spell out.