In March 2016, we were engaged to work with Burundi’s largest business incubator, Burundi Business Incubator (BBIN) who needed help to build and deliver against their second, five-year strategic plan.
Burundi is amongst the poorest countries on earth and suffers from an unclear political climate.
BBIN is identified as neither a commercial enterprise, nor a traditional charity, thus typical business models are challenged, conceptually.
Efficient to Effective worked with the team over a two-day period to:
BBIN now has a clear, detailed, five-year strategic plan, with KPIs in place for all contributing staff; a meeting schedule that is no longer onerous or resource hungry; and an early warning notification should any part of the plan be underperforming.
Stakeholders and staff in BBIN now have a clear understanding of the strategy, the tasks needed to deliver against it and how to anticipate and rectify any shortfall in performance.
Meetings are far shorter; fewer participants are required; resource is concentrated on strategic tasks.
I have never met a team who think that meetings are a good use of their time.
Whether it’s a daily “stand up”; a weekly “get together”; a monthly “team report”; or a quarterly “off-site”, meetings can be a horrible waste of time. How often do you hear someone close a meeting with the phrase “let’s get back to work”? Surely the meeting was work!
A team meeting should be used for making decisions and agreeing priorities, based on the current performance against the plan. And that means everyone needs to know the plan. And everyone needs to know their performance against it.
A meeting is not a forum to discuss how to get work done. Or even what work should be done.
Whenever I go to a meeting, I like to have in mind the cost of that meeting. It’s a simple calculation. Multiply the hourly rate of the participants by the number of hours the meeting takes. That figure represents a cost to the business. And the meeting generates zero revenue – no-one has made anything or sold anything while the meeting has taken place.
Cost: high. Productivity: zero.
Yet some businesses insist on having meetings for their own sake, invite many people to participate, make the meetings regular (whether they’re needed or not) and end them, yet again, with that phrase: “let’s get back to work”!
So, at Efficient to Effective, we like to demonstrate the most productive, least resource-hungry methods of achieving what meetings are for: measuring performance and improving results. Contact us, so we can show you how.