At the recent Glassbuild show, in the midst of many meetings on innovation, I was asked how to speed up development of new products. My quick answer was to have fewer meetings! In this era of rapid technological advancement and innovative communication tools, it is essential to explore alternatives that not only eliminate unnecessary meetings but also ensure quick and high-quality decision-making processes. Following are some ideas to implement now.

Use Software to Unlock Productivity

The first step toward liberating ourselves from the confines of endless meetings is embracing better communication. Platforms such as Ganttpro, Slack, Zoho and Microsoft Teams have paved the way for teams to communicate without constant meetings. They eliminate the need for everyone to be present at the same time, freeing up valuable hours that would otherwise be spent coordinating schedules.

Decision Dashboards: Visualizing Success

Another powerful strategy to eradicate time-consuming meetings includes the implementation of decision dashboards. These interactive and visual platforms provide a comprehensive overview of relevant information, key metrics and potential courses of action. Decision dashboards enable teams to track progress, identify bottlenecks, and make informed decisions without the need for extensive face-to-face discussions. Platforms include Tableau, Power BI and Google Data Studio.

Eliminate Waste in Decision Making

Every innovation development project and system is laden with waste. This waste slows down decision making and must be eliminated. Use the standard lean tools to apply waste reduction to your process. The classic seven wastes from the Toyota system and some solutions include:

Motion: can be reduced by creating a “War Room” and focusing on only three core projects.
Waiting: can be reduced by following the “scrum” technique that software developers use to stop gaps in development.
Inventory: can be reduced by speeding delivery. If you cannot develop them quickly increase your capacity
Defects: can be reduced by eliminating failures through prototyping and testing constantly.
Transportation: can be reduced by strategic planning to ensure your developments are built where they will be used.
Over production: can be reduced by use of a critical stage gate system based on customer impact and margin gain.
Over processing: can be reduced by keeping clear deadlines and goals.

Inspiration to Act – Redefining Your Approach

The journey toward eliminating meetings and embracing efficient decision-making methods begins with a simple step: challenging the status quo. As leaders and team members alike, it’s time to question whether every meeting is truly essential and if these alternative methods can yield better results.

Remember, the goal is not just to save time but to utilize it strategically, propelling your organization toward greater innovation and success.

In the wise words of Albert Einstein, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Break free from the meeting madness. Redefine your approach to decision-making and watch as your team transforms into a powerhouse of productivity and creativity. The future of work is agile, asynchronous and visual. Seize the opportunity to lead the way.

Keep innovating!
Ray

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