Stack of paperwork

Let’s Stop Calling It Paperwork

I recently viewed an old IBM commercial (circa 1960s) in which the characters spoke repeatedly about the evils of “paperwork.” Not that there’s anything wrong with that (you’re welcome, Seinfeld fans), and we casually toss the term off even today.

But we shouldn’t. Not anymore. And not for a while now.

Yes, paper can be evil, for reasons of which we all are well aware. But at this point in time and technology, shouldn’t we be focusing on the “work” instead?

To my mind, the work is the work, and doesn’t change much from generation to generation. But the tools certainly do – and the best tools don’t disturb that work except to make it more efficient.

So while reducing or eliminating paper from the flow is often an immediate and dramatic outcome, so is saving time / saving money / bettering compliance / etc. So let’s stop emphasizing the “paper” and concentrate more on the “work.” Because, really, that’s where doing information right pays the greatest dividend.

– Want to make your work flow better? Give me a shout and let’s talk it through! –

About the author: Steve Weissman

Steve Weissman helps you do information right by bringing order and discipline to your governance and process practices. Principal Consultant at Holly Group and Co-Founder of the Information Coalition (now merged with ARMA International), he leverages a proven proprietary methodology to optimize everything from strategic planning and needs assessment to vendor selection and user adoption. He is, in short, The Info Gov Guy™, furthering best-practices for finding, leveraging, and protecting your business-critical information. A member of the AIIM Company of Fellows and holder of numerous industry designations, he can be reached at or 617-383-4655.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.