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Score small wins

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in Office Management,Workplace Communication

One of the worst mistakes of hungry managers is to tackle huge initiatives that get bogged down and never produce results. Our advice: Think small.

Take Patrick Sinner, a 28-year-old supervisor at PNC Bank. He was often the last to leave work, and he noticed that dozens of computers remained on night after night. So he calculated the number of PCs in the bank, the amount of electricity each used, the cost of that power for 16 hours of nonuse and the annual electric bill. His managers at first dismissed his idea, thinking that turning off PCs shortened the life of some components.

But he anticipated their concern and found most computers were replaced long before they were harmed by nightly shutdowns. Bottom line: Annual savings of $268,000.

“Small, successful initiatives undertaken over time can mean as much in productivity gain as one large flash-in-the-pan effort,” writes Robert E. Kelley in How To Be A Star At Work (Times Business, 1998).

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