Don’t waste time

The other day I was in a scheduled 2 hour meeting when the organisers spent the first 10 minutes sorting out the room and the technology. Then the Highest Paid Person in the Organisation (the Hippo) gave a 15 minute introduction which could have taken 2 minutes. That’s 23 minutes wasted out of 120 – ie nearly 20 %.

Everyone else in the room was obviously being very polite. I was doing that pencil tap thing that really irritates – but I had to let off steam somehow.

What a waste of time and not in a good way. The rest of the meeting – once the Hippo had shut up – was actually fascinating. The final hour and 37 minutes flew by. So it is a good thing that I kept my frustration contained (to some extent anyway). 

However if we could have improved the productivity of that meeting by 20% – and that meeting is probably not untypical – then either we can improve profitability by 20% or everyone can go home 20% earlier.

Dr Deming revolutionised Japanese working practices after the 2nd World War by introducing the idea of Lean Working. One of his techniques is to ask every member of staff to audit their own working behaviour throughout the day and eliminate wastage. It would be good if we could adopt this across the media industry.

Let’s improve efficiency, break out of the down turn sooner, and go home earlier by refusing to have our time wasted.

Let’s have a campaign – or are you too busy in meetings ?

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