One elephant in the room is bad meetings. Managers spend approximately 50% of their time in meetings and they consistently report that 50% of that time is wasted. So, 12 weeks a year of zero productivity from the people who are among the most highly paid in the organization? Build a simple solution that progressive leaders and managers everywhere can use to systematically tap into talent and improve meeting results.
Why do so many smart people spend so much of their valuable time at work in so many meetings that accomplish so little?
Develop a management innovation that is like a "smart lean" approach to collaboration. Help different people get on the same page quickly to build high quality relationships, increase meeting productivity and accelerate innovation. Build it around a universal common language for collaboration. Develop a set of practical online tools to map thinking skills and integrate the common language into simple, smart lean type processes for meetings and innovation initiatives.
Three stories- 1) In 2010, WestJet, Canada’s most progressive airline, tested our Smarter Meetings system and achieved a 558% ROI (as reported in a federally sponsored research project on return on investment from training) from training a cadre of their managers in how to tap into the brain power of people in a disciplined way and save time.
2) The Premier of Manitoba used our RIP IT/ Rapid Innovation Program as the platform to bring 100 business and community leaders in the province together to work on 6 key economic issues and prepare recommendations to the government which the delegates voted on– all in 6 hours of working time.
3) After 10 years of data collection on thinking styles of working people, we now find that people are increasingly choosing to be less creative in their thinking – no wonder Canada continues to fall behind on all innovation measures – as the twin enemies of innovation, complacency and mediocrity, lurk in the shadows.
Change is tough. Take a page from the Heath brothers. Break it into bite size chunks. Demonstrate how it works real time. Meetings are a critical pain point in virtually every organization. Find the progressive leaders, the outliers who are looking for an edge, who are committed to the maxim that all of us are smarter than anyone of us. Declare portions of a meeting as a smarter meeting and give people a process path to think through issues together. Find them in schools, colleges, corporations, government agencies and not for profits.
Thanks to all the giants on whose shoulders and backs I have clung to and worked from - Robert Sternberg, Jerry Rhodes, Chogyam Trungpa, Marcial Losada, Gary Hamel, Barbara Fredrickson, Carol Dweck, the Heath brothers, Richard Daft, Michael Roach….