Virtual Teams

50% scrap – that will do nicely

cartoon, problem communicationI used to work in both manufacturing and in business planning. In these roles, if I’d gone to my boss and proposed a new manufacturing line that made 50% scrap or proposed to develop a new product that only worked half the time, I think I would, quite rightly, have been fired.

But in communication we routinely accept 50% scrap as the norm:

  • • People completing our virtual teams benchmarking survey tell us they spend on average two days per week in meetings and 50% is relevant
  • • research on people attending conference calls and web meetings shows that 25% are absent and a further 25% are “multitasking” – so again 50% are either not there or are not paying attention.
  • • In e-mails is worse, an average of 75% of e-mails are irrelevant to the recipient.

We wouldn’t accept this appalling level of waste and cost in any other areas of business. A business with 1,000 managers and professional people wasting a day a week on unnecessary cooperation, and communication incurs a cost of around $20 million per year of completely unnecessary work. You can do the maths for the size of your own business.

But the cost of solving this problem is not high. It’s about mindset and some simple practices and tools.

If you’re happy with millions of pounds of unnecessary work and the frustration of sitting in unnecessary meetings and dealing with pointless e-mails then you’ve come to accept that scrap is normal.

In manufacturing, I learned that scrap is an important indicator of problems with the process and a signal that we need to do things differently.

The same lean management techniques that worked so well throughout our supply chains can be applied to the way people work together – not just to drive out cost, but also to improve job satisfaction and motivation by increasing the relevance and engagement of communication. It’s a real win-win.

If you’d like to find more about our “speed lead” campaigns to cut out unnecessary work, please contact us.

50% scrap – that will do nicely

Explore our training programs to see how we can help.

Virtual Teams Training Matrix Management Training Agile & Digital Training

Educate yourself further with a few more or our online insights:

25 years of experience learning with a range of world class clients

We work with a wide range of clients from global multinationals to recent start-ups. Our audiences span all levels, from CEOs to operational teams around the world.  Our tools and programs have been developed for diverse and demanding audiences.

View more of our clients
Two woman talking with a cup of coffee

Tailored training or off the shelf modules for your people development needs

We are deep content experts in remote & virtual teams, matrix management and agile & digital leadership. We are highly flexible in how we deliver our content and ideas. We can tailor content closely to your specific needs or deliver off the shelf bite sized modules based on our existing IP and 25 years of training experience.

For more about how we deliver our keynotes, workshops, live web seminars and online learning.

Discover our training solutions