Making Work More Effective

Here is what leaders often do – when faced with a complex situation at work, they add more meetings, task forces, new procedures and governance structures that makes things more complex. What we need to handle complex challenges is simplicity that leads to effectiveness.

Simon Terry, whose thinking I really admire, wrote a short post titled “Five Ways to Make Work More Effective” offering vital ideas about efficient work.

Meetings, unending email threads, too much focus on consensus building, siloed thinking and lack of experimentation are some of the biggest wastes in an organization. They sap productivity, hurt engagement and kill accountability.

If you are a leader or a manager, this might just be a reminder you need often to ensure that you create an environment of effective work – smart work as they call it!

Here’s a quick sketch summary of the post!

Related Reading at QAspire

Effective Meetings: A Round Up

I love SCRUM methodology because it focuses on making meetings effective. Focus is on decisions and actions. A quick stand-up meeting everyday to track progress.

One of the biggest wastes in any organization are ineffective meetings. I have always believed that meetings (specially with the team) are a great forum to inspire action, instill a sense of urgency and get things done. I have written earlier about effective meetings and there are other great authors who have written about it. Here’s a round-up:

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Mary Jo Asmus offers ideas on conducting compelling meetings and get rid of boring, one-way meetings. Here’s an excerpt:

The unsaid gets surfaced without consequences. Most people at the meeting know where the unsaid is hidden; none of them will hold back on coaxing it out in the conversation because that’s how the team pulls together and creates a safe platform for moving ahead.

Infact, Al Pittampalli wrote a book titled “The Modern Meeting Standard”. On the book page, he writes:

If an operating room were as sloppily run as our meetings patients would die. If a restaurant kitchen put as little planning into the meal as we put into our meetings, dinner would never be served.  Worst of all, our meeting culture is changing how we focus, what we focus on, and what decisions we make.

Tom Peters has put up a special presentation on meetings in which he says:

Every meeting that does not stir the imagination and curiosity of attendees and increase bonding and co-operation and engagement and sense of worth and motivate rapid action and enhance enthusiasm is a permanently lost opportunity.

Prepare for a meeting, every meeting as if your professional life and legacy depended on it. It does.

Jesse Lyn Stoner wants no more boring meetings and provides some tips on validating the need of a meeting.

Build your agenda after you identify the purpose and desired outcomes. Make sure that each agenda item supports the purpose and drives one of your desired outcomes. If it doesn’t, take it off the agenda.

Janine Popick at Inc.com provides 8 Pet Peeves on Business Meeting Etiquettes. Here’s one:

Don’t repeat what someone else in the meeting has already said and take credit for it: a) it’s a time-waster, and b) everyone in the room knows what you’re doing.

If you are interested in best practices for daily stand-up meetings (SCRUM style), don’t miss Jason Yip’s article. Some great tips, including this one:

The goals of the daily stand-up are GIFTS. Good Start, Improvement, Focus, Team, Status.

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Here’s what I suggest: Before you go to your next meeting, read this post (and posts included here). Take just one idea and make sure you implement it in the meeting. If you find a difference in your meeting effectiveness, leave a comment and share your experience.

Join in the conversation: What are your best tips for running effective meetings? Have you been conducting daily stand-up meetings? How does it help you?