There is a point in our professional lives that there are just too much meetings for nothing.
I am aghast at the scope of meetings in a year where organizations become meeting-addicts, thinking that by meeting together face-to-face from discussing the color of the office curtain, sending notes of thank to volunteers and donors, deciding on the font style for the company newsletter, and other myriad non-essential topics you can imagine that exists in organizations, things get completed.
Worst of all, they are conducted to share information which is the least use of time, energy, and everyone's attention.
What happened to email thread in conversations that you have had a few months but delay for face-to-face meeting which ended up all the time- not enough time to make a good decision!
Also, what happened to phone calls which you can always converse directly to the person/persons involved without having to require a good group effort.
I remember a client of mine that contracted me a few years ago to spearhead the submission of a job market project proposal. This requires getting all the information from various initiatives and projects under the department which could be more than 5 in a given time. The manager thought that by convening this big group meeting where everyone is present and can give information is the best way to deal with it.
Wrong! By all accounts, I did not need a group to tell me what to do and we did not really need a face-to-face meeting. If they can submit what I need, I'd be able to do my job without hassle and with less time. This is no- brainer, simple but smartest way to get things done.
We don't need a participatory process all the time-like it has become a mantra for everything. It is not the best vehicle to accomplish things all the time, in all conditions. We have to be judicious when to invoke a method or when to just our brains to get things done and out of the way.
Brainstorming is good but if somebody has to make a decision on these issues, by no means, do not delay and bring the whole Alberta population to discuss it to feel good about the decision. Managers, supervisors, and bosses- this is your call. Make an honest decision based on the facts that you have. No body is going to shoot you any time soon.
A lot of people honestly believe but by conducting meeting, they can do more. On the contrary, they accomplish less and less, create more and more work, and delay the needed decision when it is time to make that important stand on things. It is waste of monies, time (which is not recoverable), and attention. People on the table can give their opinions and perspectives but by the end of the way, some one will be accountable and will carry out the directive.
They say the best way to something is always the simplest. I wholeheartedly agree and believe so.
The next time you agree on a group meeting, ask yourself is it something you can do by email, on the phone, and/or just meeting the concerned person face-to-face.
Do they have the agenda, the start and finish time, and the key objectives they want to accomplish for the meeting?
What exactly will be your contribution, either expressed or implied, you need to know where do you stand in the issues to be discussed or explored and the role you will play in the group dynamics?
If these items are not sufficiently assessed, the best note to yourself - it's time to stop attending meetings.
Leaders like parents would say "Do what I say, not what I do."
The behavior of the leader will be the litmus test whether he/she will be believed and followed by his/her subordinates.Words don't mean a thing.
While some CEOs have a sort of veneer of respectability over their persona, what matters at the end of the day, is that they are present (not absentee) leader, one that people will follow, believe, and will trust to direct them to a new direction in the organization, and has the interests of the organization at heart.
One of the loyal Marcos henchmen during the martial law was asked by President Marcos to jump out of the building. The henchman said, 'from which floor, sir!" This sounded like a joke but this rings true today.
Loyalty and faith in the leader can come from the relationship that the leaders had forged. It cannot be just about promotions, favors, and any other externalities.
Are you creating and forging real and trust-based relationship with your followers? Have you demonstrated enough integrity, commitment, and above-board excellence that they can trust and believe in you to light the way forward?
I had a conversation with a friend I hadn't seen for a long time. After all the niceties, we talked about the organization where we both became trustees at one point and continued to have strong affinities with it after all those years.
She mentioned something about mission incongruence. Incongruence manifests if there is a misalignment, disharmony, or conflict in mission/goals/objectives. The organization is swimming in two ponds, one in service delivery and the other on in profit-oriented venture where in either one or the other, it is failing miserably.
The question with mission incongruence is-if the organization is suffering from incongruence, then somebody has to stand up and say, this is not working!. I think a lot of organizations are in denial and could not bear to admit that whatever is ailing them is not a matter of execution, but of strategy. The strategy which was once the most sound or the most plausible of all direction, is now ready to be reviewed and reexamined in the light of changes to the organization internally and externally.
When the organization says 'ouch', then what is the remedy? The remedy is not far behind. Usually, it is the combination of creating pragmatic changes to things at the strategic management level and down to the operations and service delivery.
Denial in personal life and in business can be removed when the darkness is lighted, it could no longer afford to be in the dark anymore. This is true in our organizational lives, when one part is examined, there is no excuse not to see what is really going on, the rut, the mold, and the spiders!.
Light in this case are the facts and evidence that comes from observed reality. Take time to observe what is actually going on versus what is believed to be.
What happens between zero to something? Many things.
If want to do something, you should be able to accomplish it in 90 days. Beyond that and you are still thinking about, nothing will happen.
1. The courage to forge ahead;
2. Having the right mindset and behaviors to start and sustain;
3. Imperfection is okay;
4. Removal of distractions and unnecessary obstacles;
5. Be convinced of the merits of your endeavors;
6. You are accountable first to yourself and your family. Stop listening to the voices of those that do not matter in the end.
In the final analysis, if you are able to start. Ask yourself, are you afraid to succeed? and/or afraid to fail?
There is no harm in trying but it is better to learn and make mistakes now, than not try at all.
Don't be the 80% who knows what to do and the importance of doing it, but don't do.
Imagine a balloon. It expands and once it reached its maximum point, it will stop expanding and start exploding.
Rapid, unbridled, uncontrollable growth creates pressures and issues for the organization. Capacity is over-stretched than normal, new needs are required to make it successful. There is a tendency to forsake other boring functions in the organization to service the change which had left a huge demand for management and staff. A huge imbalance threatens order and stability. The management is left to fend for itself to put back a new normal of arrangements. In short, caught with its pants down.
When times are great, they roll and frolic, not making/creating strategies that will outlast the growth in a measured way. There is a tendency to ride on the high wave unaware of the risks and threat, but when the wave disappears leaving the organization unable to sustain the growth. They crash into the shore with battered limbs.
It can be a major capital gain, major project, a business partner that has to be serviced, a new donor with high demands, program scope creep, new acquisition, etc. Anything that has been committed and is eating a major chunk of organizational resources without clear and compelling alignment to the overall business strategy.
This is an unsustainable and non-desirable growth that you don't want to have.
Be careful when you wish for growth. Only with the alignment to strategy can you justify investing in more and more for far greater returns.
For business owners, corporate management, Boards and Directors of non-profits,
this is a continuation on the series on the fundamental questions that relate to the over-all strategy of the organization.
What key issues do you want to address?
This involves an analysis of your key drivers of successes, your main challenges, and the kinds of environment the organization is up against.
This is also involves strategic thinking not planning as the latter is mere extrapolation of the present. It wont get you any where.
This is also about considering what key issues are vital to the success of the strategy as well as issues that the strategy is fundamentally rearranging, addressing/resolving.
Remember a strategy is a forward-motion vehicle to your destination. It doesn't have a reverse gear!