The ballots are in. The list of annoying and onerous business innovations can be a long one. But based on keen analytical survey and sampling techniques, the list can be honed down to a few favorites. Many of the worst innovations were supposed to make our lives easier. The rigors of time and other technologies caught up to most of them and put them on the negative side of the ledger. So here they are, the worst business innovations of the last fifty years.
1. Powdered Cream. A cup of coffee ruined and a message to the organization that you don’t deserve a little container of real cream.
2. The Cubicle. Is it a space or not? Can I decorate it or not?
3. “Reply All” Button. Careers have been left in shatters after an inadvertent “Reply All” to the wrong people.
4. Whiteboard Markers. Anything that smells that toxic must be toxic.
5. Resume Scanning Software. How can it test for “fun to work with” and “hip”?
6. Break Out Groups. Much effort and discussion that results in large flip chart pages that are rolled up and left in the corner of an office, never to be seen again.
7. Shuttle Buses. Adds a degree of difficulty to an activity that is probably already very difficult – such as travel.
8. The “Seat Pocket In Front of You”. Another way to describe a receptacle for lost items never to be seen again or a garbage collection bag.
9. Large Computer Bags. The bigger the bag, the more we carry even though all we probably need is the laptop itself. Large bags hurt the back and induce guilt.
10. Free Conference Calls. If the calls are free, let’s have a bunch of them.