Friday, February 8, 2013

Ten Ancient Mistakes IX

Continuing with our examination of the ancient world looking at ten business mistakes made anciently, we have reached

#9 No priorities --- no processes

An example of no processes is the famous example of the persecution of the Christians under Pliny. Pliny had the vague notion that being a Christian was something to be punished but had no idea what the procedure was. He wrote his buddy, the emperor Trajan, and asked what he should be doing in the case that someone was accused of being a Christian. Trajan's response lays out the procedure. In the first place, Pliny had no business accepting accusations without knowing who was making them. Vague accusations that someone accused someone else of wrong doing are unacceptable. If someone has an accusation to make, they should be willing to put their name behind the accusation. The vague notion that someone unspecified in a hierarchy is displeased is not an acceptable way of doing business. It makes it impossible to resolve difficulties. Trajan had the good sense to recognize that anonymous accusations should be given no credence.