Wide and shallow, or narrow and deep

In Japan, often the first option is the only option. People are given so much responsibility, often they do the bare minimum, just enough to get the job done. This is such a deeply-entrenched part of the culture now that it’s hard to change things.

I feel that this explains a lot about the work culture here. As it is custom to stay behind until the boss has left (a stupid custom, but whatever), people need things to keep them busy. The best way to do that? Have lots of things to do. The problem with this, as you have probably guessed, is that jobs are only given a half-arsed effort. They are wide (many different jobs), and shallow (only half-arsed).

Now, we all know that half-arsing things is not good. Not only is it extremely unproductive, it doesn’t use the person to their full potential, nor does guarantee a good job gets done (or give the best chance of this happening).

So, what are we to do? The opposite! Narrow and deep! Narrow meaning you are selective on the jobs you choose to do in the first place, not doing things because they are there to be done, but because doing them benefits you in your mission. And deep. Do them well. Narrowing your field of work means you get to spend more time doing a proper job. And if you’re going to do a job, you’re going to do it proper, aren’t you?

So, what chose you? Wide and shallow? Narrow and deep? The choice is obvious.



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