Thursday, July 12, 2012

Process Is Killing Your Productivity? latershare can help

Lisa Bodell, CEO of futurethink, New York, writes in her article "5 Ways Process Is Killing Your Productivity" on (an except from her Book "Kill the Company: End the Status Quo, Start an Innovation Revolution") about the productivity losses in companies that are caused by the overuse of - in the beginning well-intentioned - processes: Managers spend 30 to 60 percent of their time in coordination meetings. "No wonder people feel like they can never get any real work done."

Of course communication in relevant meetings will always belong to the key functions of management. But not all sort of meetings are necessary. Sometimes the sequential communication in meetings can lead to worse results than using other forms of communication.

Point 3 in her list:
  • Overdependence on meetings: “Collaborative” and “inclusive” are corporate buzzwords, but productive teamwork does not require meetings for every single action or decision. People become overwhelmed and ineffective when they are always stuck in meetings. This signals that politics have taken precedence over productivity.
This somehow reminds of this older "hold a meeting" graphic. We created latershare to provide a tool to avoid certain meetings and make the collected input of people available simultaneously for all group members. To save time and improve team efficiency.

Point 5 in her list:
  • Management acts as judge, not jury: If the purpose of a meeting is to think, create, or build, management has to stop tearing people down when they propose new ideas or question the status quo. This signals a lack of perspective and openness.
Meetings can be great for brainstormings since people can build ideas on input of other people. With the influences of hierarchy, rivalry, shyness and time limitation, these brainstorming and creation processes can lead to suboptimal outcomes. So why not take advantage of latershare to collect the input and make it available to the group? Optionally, based on the results, a meeting can still be called, which most likely will be shorter and will lead to better results.