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The Importance of Appearing Organized

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As well all know, the trends of “going green,” resource preservation, and climate control have taken our society by storm. Yet, amidst the hype, a leader in the movement was under a magnifying glass for his disorganization.

Professor Phil Jones is a key contributor to the theory on global warming. Yet, in a recent article, his professional integrity and organizational skills are being questioned after much refusal to provide scientific documentation.

According to Mr Harrabin [reporter for BBC], colleagues of Professor Jones said ‘his office is piled high with paper, fragments from over the years, tens of thousands of pieces of paper, and they suspect what happened was he took in the raw data to a central database and then let the pieces of paper go because he never realized that 20 years later he would be held to account over them’.

This sought-after data contains analysis of climate records from hundreds of weather stations around the world, and is the scientific source that the United Nations utilizes when urging countries to cut carbon dioxide. Unfortunately, with looming questions of the report’s existence and accuracy, skepticism over the entire movement is increasing.

[When] Asked by Mr Harrabin about these issues, Professor Jones admitted the lack of organisation in the system had contributed to his reluctance to share data with critics, which he regretted.

Asked about whether he lost track of data, Professor Jones said: ‘There is some truth in that. We do have a trail of where the weather stations have come from but it’s probably not as good as it should be.

‘There’s a continual updating of the dataset. Keeping track of everything is difficult. Some countries will do lots of checking on their data then issue improved data, so it can be very difficult. We have improved but we have to improve more.’

productivity growth stunted by disorganization

© Flickr user Cast a Line

Many would agree, Dr. Jones is a highly dedicated and revered scholar. Unfortunately, when it came to keeping his office clean—a nagging problem that, mind you, many suffer from—his shortcoming was clear. But is this really the problem? After all, many can attest that being organized in disorganization is possible.  So, why should Dr. Jones’ dislike for filing cabinets inhibit his ability to keep record of research? It’s certainly not because he didn’t know how to document properly. Instead, its because he disregarded the value in it.

Two highly-valued, heavily-weighted standards of professionalism, in academia and business alike, are accountability and credibility. Its hard to achieve and retain one without the other. As can be seen in Dr. Jones’ case, his lack of accountability in his work is now threatening his credibility as well. Even his colleagues talked about his disorganization, which must mean it really is a problem. Even if Dr. Jones didn’t take the steps required to actually put in place an efficient system (something he probably should have done), he certainly should’ve taken the steps necessary to ensure his desk was clean enough that he could get work done.

No matter how insignificant a task within a project may seem, it is not reason enough to neglect it, ignore it, or worse, assume it has no bearing on future success. Take the initiative to first contemplate the purpose of the task, the benefits of the activity both today and in the future. Thoughtfully evaluating rather than underestimating work leaves less opportunity for problems in the future.

Contact our Indiana consultants today to learn more and how we can help you not only to be more productive, but to appear more productive in the eyes of your critics.

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Ashley Lee

Ashley Lee

Ashley has been working with the AccelaWork team since 2008. She is a communications expert with a background in corporate work, and a graduate of the University of Dayton with a degree in Public Relations. She lives in the greater Indianapolis area with her husband and four children. Ashley enjoys jewelry, fashion, and coffee.
Ashley Lee

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