On poorly managed teams conflicting and irrelevant work is allowed to go on because leaders don’t notice, care or take the time to guide people’s efforts in more useful directions. Capable people may work away in their private tasks, believing they’re making progress (and earning bonuses), when in reality they’re doing work that will be thrown away or even hurt the project. When someone puts their head down to work, how fast they’re going doesn’t matter if they’re heading in the wrong direction (or towards a cliff). How a talent is directed can be more important than the size of the talent itself.
Work vs. Progress – Scott Berkun.