Does the following statement sound familiar? “When the meeting breaks up, people leave and complain to themselves about another waste of valuable time.” If so, you are not alone. That sentiment is echoed in every office building multiple times a day. In 2003, Marakon Associates completed a survey of top management in 187 large companies worldwide and found that senior managers spend less than three hours a month on strategic issues and too much time discussing issues that have little or no direct impact on company value.
The results of the survey were published in a Harvard Business Review article titled “Stop Wasting Valuable Time“. To understand whether you will benefit from reading this article, consider whether your organization’s top management deals with any of the following:
◾ Top management spends little time together. The survey shows that management spends less than 10% of their time together. Therefore, their time together must be used wisely.
◾ Setting the agenda is unfocused and undisciplined. Less than 5% of companies have a disciplined process for focusing on the most important issues during the meeting. Therefore, the urgent crowds out the important.
◾ Too little attention is paid to strategy. Managers estimate that almost 80% of the time is spent on issues that account for only 20% of the long-term value to the organization.
◾ Meetings aren’t structured to produce real decisions. Only 12% of managers believed that their meetings consistently produced decisions on important or strategic issues.
Action Management and Associates