Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cleaning the Slate

George is nearly bald, has only two hairs on his head, and wears a pair of black glasses with circular lenses.

He is also married with three children.

He will never be confused for that "other" George named Clooney.

The "George" we're referring to is on the job well before the employees show up and stays well after they leave. He rarely socializes, saddled as he is with the responsbility of running an orgnization many customers and employees depend on. Despite that, George is frequently cast as a villain or fall guy in the eyes of millions who have watched this drama unfold.

Meanwhile, the hero in this tale is often an overweight employee named Fred, who at the precise moment when the horn blows and quitting time has arrived, drops his work like a bad habit so he can skedaddle back to his friends and family.


Could George Slate be faulted for thinking something might be wrong with this picture?

That's right.

George Slate.

Today on TSB, we invite a fresh perspective on another uncommonly remarkable individual; the hardworking, often overlooked and underappreciated, Mr. Slate; the man who lights the company fire in the morning and still burning the midnight oil while Flinstone rushes home.

How many people pause long enough to consider the quandry George finds himself in his dealings with Flinstone, Joe Rockhead and others at the quarry. When Mr. Slate hires Fred to work for a fixed wage, Flintstone has the security of knowing what he will earn, but Slate cannot easily forecast profits. Market prices may rise or fall. Fred's productivity might end up being higher or lower than expected.

If you were to look ahead to how the quarry will fare in 2009, you can begin to imagine how any number of other factors might have an impact on the Slate Rock and Gravel Company. Not much has changed since the creation of "The Flinstones" in the 1960's and the 156 episodes that at times examined employer-employee relations. Like that espiode where Fred got the bright, albeit, naive idea that Slate coasted on easy street; sitting back with total control and nothing much to do in the way of real work. That was until the Great Gazoo allowed Flinstone to become boss for the day, which didn't work out so well for Fred after being badgered by phone calls and having to skip lunch after getting only a single carrot to eat.

Today on TSB we're pondering the eternal question ... how many Flinstones can one Slate carry?

How would that work in your organization?

When 5 o'clock do you hear echoes of "Yabba-dabba-do" as people stampede for the exists?
Or do you see a bunch still digging in to finish what needs to get done?

If you have a "Mr. Slate" or two working for you, consider yourself more than blessed this holiday season.

They form the bedrock of any great organization and there are never enough of them to go around.

"The nerve of that guy, waking up a man in his hammock" FRED FLINSTONE

p.s... And isn't it interesting to see while Mr. Slate is still back at the quarry working, Fred and his pal Barney found time to endorse other people's products.

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