Save a Day a Week – the latest video from Global Integration’s Kevan Hall.
Video Transcript (abridged)
Save a day a week
by Kevan Hall, Global Integration
As we work with leaders, teams and individuals in these very complex organizations around the world, we see a huge amount of unnecessary work.
The three biggest sources of waste are: unnecessary meetings and conference calls; irrelevant communication (particularly e-mails); and time spent on unnecessary controls such as reporting and form filling.
Online surveys tell us that people spend on average two days per week in meetings and conference calls. They tell us that 50% of this time is wasted as the content is irrelevant or does not help people to do their jobs.
Our training course participants tell us that individuals receive an average of 60 e-mails per week and that up to 75% of this content is irrelevant. That represents another hour per week of unnecessary work, even without adding in any of the other forms of unnecessary communication like telephone calls, web conferencing, etc.
In the area of control, individuals tell us that escalation introduces delay in decision-making and responsiveness, and that they spend significant amounts of time filling in unnecessary documents and controls. The day-to-day ‘operating mechanisms’ of control, such as delegation levels and governance,can introduce a lot of cost and frustration. If we add together the delay and waste involved in unnecessary control, we estimate this is at least another two hours per week of unnecessary work or delay.
Some of these are, of course, necessary, but we have developed ways to identify and cut out the unnecessary ones.
So if we take just these three symptoms of unnecessary work together, it seems that people are spending approximately 11 hours per week – or nearly 30% per cent of their time – on unnecessary work.
Earlier in my career I was in manufacturing: if I’d had a factory that was producing 30% scrap, I would have been in trouble and the factory would probably have been closed down. However, we routinely accept these high levels of waste in the way we cooperate, communicate and control people in our organizations.
To put this in context, many of our clients are very large, with tens of thousands of employees around the world. If you employ 10,000 people, probably only 20% of them, your expensive managerial and professional people, have this problem – but still this level of waste costs you in excess of $40 million per year, every year, to say nothing of the frustration and delay this causes in work that does need to be done.
On an individual basis this can represent nine years of your career spent in unnecessary work!
Now, we will never get rid of all it – there is usually some inefficiency in any system, but what would you do if you could win back a day a week of your time for you and your colleagues?
Take a look at our ‘Save a day a week’ program, which can deliver a triple win:
- It applies lean techniques to the way people work together and cuts out unnecessary cost and other forms of waste.
- It allows you to speed up decision making and cooperation.
- Unlike many forms of cost-cutting, it’s also popular. No one enjoys spending time in unnecessary meetings or dealing with irrelevant e-mails, so it can also improve job satisfaction.