Everyone has a unique place where they tend to get their inspiration from. For some it is in the bath, for others it maybe walking the dog. ‘Ureka’ moments are precious and yet they are the creative solutions that allow us to offer real value.
Senior managers and interim managers are paid to be creative, they are not expected to be operational. And yet so many of us find ourselves going from one information download session (otherwise commonly known as meetings) to another without space between to reflect, and to process high quality inspirational thoughts and creative solutions.
Walking the dog is fine for one problem, but if you have attended five meetings in one day (or more), walking the dog may only solve one of them. As a result our meetings tend to get longer to allow us to think the issue through. The result being that they turn into inefficient brainstorming sessions, without the chance to mull over the the potential consequences of decisions taken.
Of course there are executives that have teams around them that prepare perfectly for meetings, that have already thought all the issues through and are just presenting to senior management in order to share their findings and to obtain approval. In my experience, however, these situations are rare.
Yesterday I went from giving one interview to another, with a two and a half hour investment pitch and an advertising campaign purchase meeting in-between. Decisions were made and the world is still turning but this is not ideal. I know it is not trendy to slow down but in this case I believe less is more.
If we are not taking the time out to contemplate potential opportunities and risks, then at least we should have members of our team doing so. The only question remaining is – ‘Do we trust them and their judgment sufficiently?’
Tip: if you drive home from work everyday with the radio on, or spend the time on the phone extending the day – perhaps once a week you should switch everything off and spend the time reflecting on conversations of the day (this is assuming you are good at multi-tasking and are driving along a boring motorway, not in a busy city).
I am off for my bath,