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Sunday, 27 October 2013

Yet Another Lousy Meeting? Give It Purpose and Things Will Happen!

I came across a maxim recently during an excellent session with Vistage speaker Mark Fritz (www.markfritzonline.com) which caused me to give some thought as to its meaning, its value, its relevance to leadership in business and also to its relevance to life in general.  It is very simple and very deep: 

·       Think, Feel, Do 

It has a significant similarity to the ancient Jewish mysticism of Kabbalah which says, in effect, that intuition (chochma) and understanding (binah) lead to knowledge (da'at). 

Consider that intuition and understanding can be construed as feeling and thinking (in that order) then the acquisition of knowledge will lead to action. 

Mark Fritz mentioned that someone had suggested to him that the maxim should be Feel, Think, Do in that order and there is some measure of logic about that. 

However, the logic (at least, my logic) would say that we initially think about a situation and feelings about it then start to develop. 

The route to action consists of thinking about the situation and then drilling down into our feeling to help us determine what to do and probably how to do it. 

However, the more important question to ask ourselves is WHY do we do it?  Unless we know categorically why we take action in any circumstance then we achieve little more than activity and that can be pointless and valueless. 

How many times have you been to a meeting which went on for ages, you have come out of the meeting room and wondered what the meeting had been about? 

How often as a leader have you asked for a decision about something only to be told that “we just need a bit more information to be on the safe side”? 

Do you, as a leader, ask your people what they FEEL about a situation rather than just what they think about it? 

Ask yourself a really important question – how many meetings have you attended where the very first item on the agenda is a statement of the purpose of the meeting?  Perhaps to make a decision about capital expenditure, about marketing effectiveness or about changes which need to be made in the business? 

Unless there is a stated desired outcome the meeting has no purpose other than to discuss and that in itself can be extremely frustrating. 

A meeting must have a purpose, an objective which needs to be SMART: 

·       Specific – the objective of the meeting must be stated with clarity
·       Measurable – the outcome must be measured against an accepted norm
·       Achievable – everyone concerned must know and accept the route to success
·       Relevant – if it isn’t relevant to the overall business, why is it being discussed?
·       Time based – no arguments, no discussion, no excuses; the objective must be delivered on time. 

It is all about purpose; everything that we do in business must be allied to what outcome we intend to achieve.  Notice, the word is INTEND, not hope, not wish, not try, but INTEND.  That way there is very likely that there will be a positive outcome.
 
 
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