"Bottleneck"

Bot·tle·neck

 

  1. The neck or mouth of a bottle.
  2. A point of congestion or blockage in particular.

 

We all recognize the shape of a bottle.  There is the base, which is the widest, fullest part of the bottle where the largest amount of volume can be found.  And then there is the top, which is smaller than the base and holds much less.  The narrow section between the two, of course, is the neck.

Often, organizations are like bottles.  The majority of employees make up the base, busy making significant contributions to the organization.  Quite often, however, before their work is complete, someone at the top of the organization wants to see it, touch it, review it or tweak it.  This could create a "bottleneck" effect, potentially slowing down the "flow" of work.  Or, a final "look" by a fresh set of eyes could enhance the final output.

The neck of the bottle is always at the top of the bottle.   The person at the top of the organization can be a gateway or a barrier.  

Are you helping or hindering the flow?  

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