Within a couple minutes, I read all these blog posts by Seth Godin. As far as I know, Godin has little to know affiliation with church. But he weighs in on leadership in some pretty compelling ways. These were timely for me:
Insurgents and incumbents
Incumbents compromise to please the committee and bend over backwards to defend the status quo.
Insurgents have the ability to work without a committee and to destroy the status quo.
The game is stacked in favor of the insurgents, except--
They're under pressure from boards, investors and neighbors to act like incumbents.
It takes guts to be an insurgent, and even though the asymmetrical nature of challenging the status quo is in their favor, often we find we're short on guts. ... and then the incumbents prevail.
That's not the way we do things about here
Please don't underestimate how powerful this sentence is.
When you say this to a colleague, a new hire, a student or a freelancer, you've established a powerful norm, one that they will be hesitant to challenge.
This might be exactly what you were hoping for, but if your goal is to encourage innovation, you blew it.
Making meetings more expensive
...might actually make them cost less.
What would happen if your organization hired a meeting fairie?
The fairie's job would be to ensure that meetings were short, efficient and effective. He would focus on:
•Getting precisely the right people invited, but no others.
•Making the meeting start right on time.
•Scheduling meetings so that they don't end when Outlook says they should, but so that they end when they need to.
•Ensuring that every meeting has a clearly defined purpose, and accomplishes that purpose, then ends.
•Welcoming guests appropriately. If you are hosting someone, the fairie makes sure the guest has adequate directions, a place to productively wait before the meeting starts, access to the internet, something to drink, biographies of who else will be in the room and a clear understanding of the goals of the meeting.
•Managing the flow of information, including agendas and Powerpoints. This includes eliminating the last minute running around looking for a VGA cable or a monitor that works. The fairie would make sure that everyone left with a copy of whatever they needed.
•Issuing a follow up memo to everyone who attended the meeting, clearly delineating who came and what was decided.
If you do all this, every time you call a meeting it's going to cost more to organize. Which means you'll call fewer meetings, those meetings will be shorter and more efficient. And in the long run, you'll waste less time and get more done.
So which hits home? Insurgents/Sacred Cows or Meaningful Meetings?