This week is a short one. The message is good but there is no reason to draw it out. It is what it is.
I blogged previously about Management by Wandering/Wondering. It’s very effective. Simply walk around with no immediate destination or purpose, observing and listening. Some of my best ideas have come from this. Wanderind around and Wondering what if. I discovered this week that Management by Wandering/Wondering also has a place in meetings.
Cheryl, our CEO called a meeting of management and supervisory staff this week. There was no real agenda. She had one issue to discuss and that was it. I usually, being the list guy come in with an agenda but this time I didn’t. The boss just let the discussion WANDER. WOW! It was really effective. I came away with a new sense of urgency on a couple of projects and two or three additional projects that have big implications for Ebsco.
Later in the week, I held a production meeting. Yes, I had an agenda for this one. I think the juices were still flowing and again they came up with several great points that we are going to follow-up on. The discussion started off topic and I let it go. Normally I would drag it bag on topic to keep the meeting flowing, but not this time.
It’s amazing what the team will come up with if you turn them loose without direction. That’s the key is no direction. When you have an agenda they will always focus there. When you step in with an opinion you start driving the conversation. When you shut up and let them talk, magic happens. They have a great deal to say and may just be looking for the opportunity. We have open communication at Ebsco and the entire management staff is always in contact. Everyone is busy and we are focusing on the issues at hand. When faced with no agenda, no demanding priorities, that is when all the rest comes out.
So I encourage you to try it. Actually try both of them.
Wander around your business with no specific point. Listen and observe and wonder WHAT IF?
Bring in groups of key employees to meet with them with no specific agenda. Sit back and let them go.
Try IT. Who knows what you will discover.