Bethlehem Steel Works, a watercolour by Joseph Pennell, depicting Bethlehem Iron Company in May 1881
Whilst we canter towards the time of pudding, parties and wrapping paper, it's worth remembering the Bethlehem story.
No, not that Bethlehem.
I'm talking about the Bethlehem Steel Mill story which might help us identify how we will pack all those tasks in before the world around us grinds to a halt.
You see, Bethlehem Steel Mill was the site of one of the apocryphal stories of time management, when a chap called Ivy Lee persuaded Charles Schwab, the CEO of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, that he could increase his company's productivity by over 20% if his managers adopted his system for over 30 days.
Ivy Lee (1877-1934) was also known as the founder of Public Relations, working with the Rockefellers & Standard Oil and helping the nascent careers of Walter Chrysler, George Westinghouse and Charles Lindbergh. This might mean the story is just a story.....
Charles Schwab was purportedly so chuffed with the results that he paid Lee $25,000, the equivalent of c$2m now.
Beguilingly simple, the approach required the managers to follow these steps:
There are other time management systems that I prefer (yes I'm a great fan of Stephen Covey's 4 box model) but this system has a number of advantages over any other:
Chris Lorimer helps organisations of all shapes and sizes to become more productive. He lives in Devon, UK, with his family.
Chris Lorimer is an
experienced management consultant who has helped many owners, Directors and staff to achieve more.