Installing a Preventative System
In 1984, Sam founded Centratel, the number one commercial telephone answering service in the nation, located in Bend, Ore. With a background in engineering and publishing, he is a telephone answering service industry consultant, writer and speaker, and has served as president of several regional and national answering service organizations.
Sam is author of the book Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less, published by North Sister Publishing, Inc. in April 2008. He also founded and directs Kashmir Family Aid, a 501C3 non-profit that aids surviving school children of the Northern Pakistan and Azad Kashmir earthquake of October 8, 2005.
Originally from upstate New York, and an Oregonian since 1975, he is married to Linda Carpenter. He has a daughter and two grandchildren. He and Linda are also in the process of launching an Internet business that promotes communication between absent adults and their children and grand children. Outside interests include climbing/mountaineering, skiing, cycling, reading, traveling and writing.
Sometimes we install a system and it doesn’t do much. We achieve the desired effect by the mere existence of it.
At Centratel, we knew a few of our employees spent time “cruising the net” on company time. It was impossible to track these sleight-of-hand excursions and the closest we could get to managing the problem was to walk around a corner and find a staff member covertly close a non-Centratel screen upon our approach.
So, we installed special software that tracks and logs internet activity.
The software solved the problem instantly and completely. We track everyone’s activity including who goes where, and how much time is spent “cruising.”
Have we ever tracked down bad behavior with it? Yes, when we first installed it without announcing what we had done, the usual suspects emerged. Did we say anything to them? No, it wasn’t necessary because we knew that once we announced the installation, and noted it in our Employee Handbook, the people who were abusing the system would change their behavior. Did they? Yes.
Have we had subsequent abuses? No. We check the logs each month but there is never a problem.
Another example of the installation of a preventative system? Drug testing. And, police and military.
With these systems, the preventative aspect is key. The systems are intended to halt problems before they occur.
The above excerpt is taken from Sam Carpenter’s Work The System: The Simple Mechanics of Working Less and Making More