business focus

March 10, 2009

Quick Thinking Required!

I’m fascinated by productivity. Making things actually happen, instead of pondering endlkessly is a huge step forward for any manager.

When I was in Australia recently, I met up with Dr Ken Hudson, from The Speed Thinking Zone. Ken’s premise is that things take way too long and there is a better way.

Hudson’s Law of Meetings

February 27, 2009

In 1955, Cyril Northcote Parkinson suggested, in a tongue in cheek way, what has since become known as Parkinsons Law. It states:

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

I would like to suggest that this be updated for meetings in what i have called Hudson’s Law of Meetings:

Meetings expand to the time set for the meeting.

Think about it. Have you ever been at a meeting when someone says, well we have the meeting room booked for the next hour why don’t we stay till then. Why should you? If the meeting is over the meeting is over.

Why do most of us feel guilty about having a shorter meeting or one that finishes early? In a recent workshop we covered all we had to do and i suggested that we finish early. One person started to complain about this.

Why I asked?

Why don’t you use the extra time to go to the gym or see your kids or go to a movie?

If Hudson’s rule is valid then we should think seriously about the amount of time we spend in meetings. Why are all our meetings at least one hour? Why aren’t these half an hour?

Imagine how much time you could free up and how more productive and enjoyable your life could be.

Ken Hudson

Ken’s thinking is fast paced, as you might expect. I like his stuff and I want to know more, despite Australia being quite a hike from where I am.

I think you might like to check it out too, right here at The Speed Thinking Zone

Filed under Blog by Martin

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November 24, 2008

Big Picture Management

There is no shortage of articles in the popular press about how to survive in the new era of a damaged financial world.

Jobs seem to be disintegrating by every newscast and matters are made much worse, I believe, by a scurrilous press having political reasons for making things seem much worse than they are.

The recession we are heading for, has as much to do with perception caused by a malicious press out there as anything else.

That said, what are you going to do to make the best out of a sorry state of affairs?

Practically, and having been through a number of recessions and crises over my career, it pays to remain flexible and prepared for when the downturn appears if and when it does.

Not every situation can be protected, but as managers we can plan to be as lean as possible with the permanency of employees, using short-term contracts where possible and thus protecting the key people who have been most loyal and especially the most productive.

Trying to second guess what is likely to come, is difficult in large organizations, as middle managers don’t always have the inside knowledge to know or influence what is going on.

It’s a time to focus on doing core activities really well, delighting the customers we have and, above all, not getting too despondent or down.

Keeping the spirits up and concentrating on delivering the best is likely to be the best we can do.

Oh, and if you live in the UK, don’t watch any more episodes of ‘Survivors’ or that could really get you down!

Filed under Blog, Building the Future, Focus on Results, Managing Me by Martin

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