How much water can a sponge absorb? There are a number of factors that will affect this (size of the sponge, material the sponge is made from, whether the sponge is wet or not etc) so for a particular sponge the best way to get an answer is to gradually add more and more water until it wont absorb anymore. If you add less than that amount, you are under utilizing the sponge. If you add more than that, it wont work effectively. If you don’t test to see how much a particular sponge can absorb you will most likely not be utilizing it as efficiently as you should.
The way we utilize employees can be quite similar. Some can accomplish a great deal. Others are quite limited. The best way to most effectively utilize your people is to see how much can handle. Giving them less to do is wasting opportunity. Giving them too much and they can be overwhelmed and be ineffective.
Use the “sponge theory” on each person and you will find different people have different capabilities and should be dealt with differently.
Have a great day!