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About 85% of all business related meetings are useless and a waste of time. Meetings and complex organizational processes are killing our productivity.

Before you accept or schedule a meeting, ask yourself; is this meeting really necessary? If it gets canceled by any means, would that meeting fade away, or could it be taken care of with an e-mail, or, would it in fact prove to have genuine value?

“When you take care of your life, do you develop overcomplicated processes for getting things done? Do you spend your free time coming up with systems and programs for buying birthday presents or making dinner or feeding the dog? Do you have regular family meetings to discuss whether or not people are doing heir chores, what the status of those chores is, and what kind of outcomes those chores are expected to achieve?

Why do we spend so much of our business life talking about the business we need to take care of rather than simply taking care of it?”
-From Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It

Some believe, including myself, the solution is in a ROWE.

ROWE stands for Results-Only Work Environment. In a ROWE, each person is free to do whatever they want, whenever they want, as long as the work gets done. The old rules that govern a traditional work environment—core hours, “face time,” pointless meetings, etc.—have been replaced by one rule: focus only on results.

In a traditional work environment, the coworker who gets in early, leaves late, attends every meeting possible and is an avid buzzword user looks like they’re a superstar. In a ROWE, they’re just making a choice about when, where and how they work.

For all you managers out there; praise the outcomes, not the behavior.
Stop praising/admiring people for their “dedication” and start
praising people for what they accomplish.

Stop and think about the following:

1) We rush to work everyday and then spend the first hour at our desk reading the paper and drinking coffee?

2) If you’re done with your work for the day at 4pm, why do you have to stay that extra hour and pretend to be busy?

3) Why do we assume that time = productivity instead of talking about the kind of results the person is actually getting?

  • Seb Jul 1, 2008 Reply

    Absolutly true !

  • Nikko Jul 1, 2008 Reply

    The problem is no one want to take responsability for his own work and is looking for approval from everyone.

  • admin Jul 1, 2008 Reply

    Your absolutely right Nikko. That is the source of our current modern social problems. Just look at our governments…

  • Olivier Jul 1, 2008 Reply

    This reminds me so many bad memories 🙂

    Let’s hold a meeting to discuss this blog post.

  • Troy Malone Oct 8, 2008 Reply

    Great post! I love it. I will have to link to this one. I love your comments on a ROWE workplace. That is actually the kind of ship I try to run and it makes sense; at least in my case. I would only say that communication back to the powers that be is critical for this to be pulled off effectively. As you know all too well, when managers are wondering what people are doing, they call meetings.

    Communicate to them what you are accomplishing on a daily basis and this can work like a charm!

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