19 April 2018

Taking time to recalibrate in the mountains with my two managing directors, Gail Jones and Jonathan Bowers

Meetings on the mountain!

There are very few things that are equal in life, but there is one thing that we all share: time. It’s our most valuable asset, yet all too often we are careless about how we spend it.

Interestingly, this week Elon Musk called for people to walk out of meetings to improve productivity at Tesla. Car production at the firm has famously been slower than expected and the leaked email from Musk highlights ways to boost productivity in that area of the business.

Whilst I agree that we need to keep meetings as short as possible, part of our culture as Brits is not to offend people. I can’t imagine it being particularly well received if someone were to get up and leave half-way through a planned meeting. I know that if someone walked out of a meeting I was in, I would be offended.

My meeting advice:

  • Have an agenda – plan what you need from the meeting and what you want to achieve. It’s also a good idea to share these before the meeting so that everyone can come along prepared.
  • Start a meeting with two people and bring others in as and when you need them, rather than having a large number of people from the outset.
  • Try to keep meetings between 20 and 30 minutes – no longer. With a deadline like that you’re guaranteed to achieve more, quicker.
  • Stand up meetings are a fantastic way to save time too.

Personally, I love taking a meeting outdoors. Get out of the office, take a hike. Getting out into the fresh air and getting the heart beating is incredibly effective especially when you have a big issue to address.

Ultimately, time is the most valuable commodity we have in business and in life. Don’t waste it!

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