THINC Fast, but not Too Fast
One of the urban legends from a well-known Zeeland furniture company is that for a time, employees had to scan their IDs when entering a meeting room. The scanner logged each meeting participant’s salary, and a screen in the room displayed the meeting’s total cost in wages as the minutes ticked by.
I love this not-so-subtle reminder that time is money. Would a price tag help us think fast together, make good decisions, and move on?
I’m big on efficient meetings. Most companies waste a good portion of salaries in meetings that go in all directions. Every meeting has participants who painfully walk everyone through a complete history before making a point, jump from topic to topic, trot out useless exceptions, and cover old ground just to hear themselves talk.
Yet, we want to be sure to get the essential contributions, explore thoroughly, think creatively, and make decisions that will engage the energy of the participants.
So how do we go fast, but not too fast? At THINC, we encourage an approach to decision-making that is comprehensive, penetrates the issues, and, most importantly, keeps people focused on one part of the process at a time.
This focus requires discipline from everyone, particularly the facilitator.  First, identify the goal of the meeting. Then examine the current reality related to this goal. Next, brainstorm options without analyzing or evaluating. Finally, examine the options to find those that generate interest and are feasible to complete. Specify next steps with a measurable, achievable, time-oriented goal that identifies who is responsible for what. Overall, proceed sequentially and engage as deeply as needed before moving to the next step.
Even without a salary meter running, a good process faithfully followed can help us think fast, save money, and produce better results.
RUTH / EFFICIENCY / Apr 15, 2011, 4:35pm / Comments (0)
Ideas worth sharing.


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