Simplify old procedures
All firms and organizations have set rules, guidelines, and routines that are strictly adhered to without question. Any deviation from the normal by anyone almost always results in questions and explanations from colleagues highlighting what they term as the normal or usual routine. While this is one of the standard scenarios across many workspaces, you can challenge the system by question the possibility of doing this more simply. Some of the critical and practical examples include the following scenarios:
Immediate list instead of minutes
Many people and firms still follow the traditional way of holding meetings, with the person taking down the minutes typing them down then sending them to all participants of the meetings later. This old and standard way of holding meetings is usually tedious and challenging, especially to the person taking down the minutes. The method is tiresome and appears to waste working capacity.
To simplify this seemingly tedious, challenging, and unpleasant scenario, there is a practical and easy solution. The person tasked with taking the minutes during the meeting can write down the list of the vital results or expectations in legible, easy-to-read handwriting. The results specified on the list should highlight the role and timing of each person’s responsibilities in the meeting. When the meeting concludes, the person will read out their notes, doing away with the need to approve the minutes as is the norm, after which they make copies of the same and hands them to each participant. During the next meeting, the members will refer to the “immediate list” to ascertain the completion of the laid out tasks.
Direct connect instead of through organization operators
One of the most direct aspects of a letterhead is the number of the associated firm as the main highlight, which is in itself, a sign of ineffectiveness. The case in point is because it projects that all callers have to go through one contact point, resulting in irritation, unresponsiveness, and lack of satisfaction both to the caller and the organization's staff. Such set systems take a toll on valuable staff's energy and time, and might also result in unsatisfied callers.
The simplification method in the above scenario involves putting the organization's number is visible, big numbers on all of the letters. Ensure that you redirect the calls in instances that you are unavailable to receive the calls. Redirecting the calls is more effective and makes work easier for all the parties involved. You can also opt to use voicemail or switching calls to the answering machine and responding to each call or message when you get the time. It is also important that you reduce inquiries by phone by availing materials like brochures or catalog extension numbers directed towards the relevant contact persons in the firm.
A pool of experts instead of an advisory committee or other meetings
Names of members of any organization’s various advisory committees determine how impressive the given firm will be viewed. Such committee meetings are usually convened regularly if not routinely, gobbling a lot of time and resources. During such meetings, not all members are productive, with others not actively participating, as exemplified across many industries. It is quite obvious that such meetings are held regularly across the board.
The simplification method to this case involves inviting initial in-depth meeting experts to offer their input, giving them a chance to understand the structure of the organization with its employees. The result of this encounter is that there will be reduced sit-in meetings, with contact being only between the people with responsibility in the firm and the experts' cum advisors. Meetings can be through phone, e-mail, fax, or personal meetings, with only experts with genuine input consulted. The company can thereby feature the illustrious names of the committee members on their letterhead or brochures as they actively offer advice and bring change to the organization.
Flat-rate payments instead of travel expense reports
One of the most contentious and explosive topics in any functioning organization is related to business trips. The view held by many accountants is that people who go on regular business tips are extravagant in their expenses. Those on such business tips feel like they are making sacrifices because they are deprived of being with their families and loved ones and they are strained financially.
The simplification method to this case should include arranging flat-rate payments for business trips, especially those occurring frequently, with the rates based on previous payments made. This is important to rule out time-consuming calculations, especially for the accountant and travellers. Such simplifications give the traveler motivation to cut down on their extravagance as they can pocket the saved money. Such measures once put in place will help the company of incurring tax disadvantages if the flat-payments are within the legal bounds.
A bulletin board instead of routing or e-mail
Conveying messages via email or through routing results to such messages initially intended for everyone being overlooked or not reaching the intended group by getting stuck to one person.
To simplify this scenario, you must initiate innovative measures like installing well-arranged bulletin boards in open spaces where the message is visible to the intended group. Ensure that you post current messages on prominent boards with attractive bold colours and lettering for quick and easy identification. Ensure you get rid of boards and notices once they have served the intended purpose.
Walking instead of meeting
One of the ugliest scenes regarding conferences is that they usually take place in rooms filled with a lot of unhealthy rituals and habits, including beverages, and meals, with the participants sitting around a table.
The simplification method, in this case, involves holding discussions in the open spaces. If the meeting involves less than five people, it is beneficial, more engaging, and healthy when such discussions continue while walking. You are bound to get the best ideas when you hold the meetings while walking as it loosens up the mood and people are more open and engaging, making the meeting more productive.
Raquel Soteldo, MA, ABA, PMP, CCC