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Better meetings - tips for meetings improvement

I’ll give meetings their due, they do tend to work when everyone has the same goal and everyone is prepared to work together towards that goal. Like so many human endeavours however, it is the proverbial ice-berg.  What is below the surface is massive compared to what is immediately visible. People attend meetings with goals they don’t express and sometimes aren’t even aware of. Subconscious motive. Oooh we’re are getting spooky now, but for us to get meetings to work, well it’s definitely something to consider.

I have run management development events for rather a long time now, and whenever the topic of meetings comes up I always ask the same questions:

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Ensuring backup for essential skills

'Mind the Gap' is a familiar phrase repeated to passengers on London Underground.

Passengers respond and go about their daily travel safely. If that same phrase were repeated again and again within an organisation it too might respond. Potential future gaps in those job roles seen as critical to business success would be identified and successors developed ready to fill them. Living with the gap or filling the gap with the wrong person erodes what we may call 'Institutional Memory'.

Institutional memory is becoming something which managers need to increasingly address. Costs of production and service delivery have often been cut and slashed to the bone, and the cost of skills replacement is one area that can offer further cost reduction opportunities. Cost reduction opportunities are scarce, but the development of Institutional Memory offers a huge area of cost saving.

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Professional succession planning and motivation

I think I must have been around 5 years old when I first heard the poem ‘remember remember the 5th of November….’. Of course I figured it was a poem to remember fireworks night, hot dogs and bonfires rather than Guy Fawkes. Life is simple as a kid.

A connected phrase one comes across as an adult is “Don’t re-invent the wheel”. This phrase is used to help us focus on setting up shared best practice etc.

So, beginning in childhood all the way through to adulthood, we are taught ways to remember stuff so we don't have to start all over again every time something changes. So, when we come to Succession Planning, why do we regularly get ourselves caught out with re-inventing wheels when employees inevitably depart?

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