Language: Redundancy is NOT a Dirty Word

“Your position is redundant”. “Let’s not be redundant.” “We seek efficiency so let’s eliminate redundancies.” All dreaded uses of the word and derivations of “redundant”.  It is well past time to reassess this connotation and comprehend that in this time of needed resiliency, redundancy is a benefit.

Think of redundancy as a layering of natural protective systems.

Consider the redundancy of edge treatments on a river…rocks, grasses, tree roots, change in height of land, influence of animal burrows, delta dispersion of water flow, etc. these are each redundant of the other. In most cases, one of these resistors may protect the river edge from migration, but different water flows and rainfalls can move water in different ways, so the combined protections, upholding each other, are always more reliable.

In the business realm, redundancy can mean mentoring and succession planning along with cross-training. It is an imperative element in business continuity. Any business that does not back up their data on a set schedule and periodically assess that process is in great risk. That data is truly redundant to the daily exchange of information, yet vital to the protection and success of the company.

In health, we have come to rely on the quick pill fix for what ails us when we should address the core health issues that form the redundant foundation of all the individual body systems and functions. If we eat the wrong foods and have GI issues, it is not enough to take an antacid. We have to address the complete system and consider the inputs as well. If we engage in weekend warrior projects and events, we must seek general flexibility and fitness or risk joint damage and aching muscles for many days.

Redundancy allows for flexibility and response to changing situations. We can be comfortable for the maximum amount of time by layering our clothing. Inside, take off the coat, scarf, sweater. In the car, take off the coat and scarf, but keep on the sweater so you can be cozy and manage rolling down the window for tolls, etc. In buildings, modular approaches to systems, such as chillers, means that very often one of the modular units will seem redundant, but when need is high, you have the capacity at a controlled roll out. And flexibility is vital for smooth operations.

This is where we must bring the word “redundancy” in order to benefit our work.

Think about language, and be greener,

Jodi

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