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Trees Don’t Have Monday Morning Meetings.

So why do we?

Ok, keeping in touch is all good. As is knowing how we link together. And sharing purpose.

Much of what happens in an organisation has no significant positive impact on the functioning of the group. Including Monday morning meetings.

I have been in meetings, which run for over two hours. It might better be descirbed as a Monday morning to afternoon meeting. Every week.

What purpose is this serving?

Not much.

So much of what happens at work is noise.

it might be verbal noise; a chance for me to feel good and involved and connected by virtue of chit chat about others. Not material to the running of the organisation but material to the running of me.

I like to feel connected. I function well in groups, in a tribe, we might say. I like tasks to focus on. I like to know I’m contributing. I like autonomy. I like to be recognised. I like to feel safe and secure and valued. Oh, and if there’s a crisis, I love to help out. We all do. This isn’t about me. It’s about all us.

Yet so much of what happens at work robs us of these basic expectations.

We spend hours in the same meeting over and over, achieving little, feeling like our lives are slipping through our fingers (which they are, by the way).

We spend time competing with others, to try and carve out a sense of value and worth.

Imagine the power which would be unleashed if we worked diligently to cut away the things which, under the guise of organisation, actually hinder? Things like meetings (well, most of them) and the general detritus of big system noise. I manage you, who in turn manages them, so on and so forth.

Is your organisation spending more time, more mental energy, managing itself than it does working in service of the things which matter? Time sheets anyone?

What if we cut it all away? What if we broke it all down to small teams working in service of distinct tasks, goals, jobs - tasks oriented to creating, helping and changing the customer?

Small autonomous units incentivised to sense, respond and adapt to the needs of its customer? Sure, these units will be made more effective the more confident they feel. Give them power, lights, computers, internet, pencils, sea lions - whatever. And them leave them alone. What they spend, on what, with who, why and when. Let them marshal the resources they see fit when they see fit.

Trees don’t have Monday morning meetings. They have a job to do. They focus on it. Other factors, like the wider community, the breadth of it’s root system, the available energy and nutrients determine how large it grows. but other than that, it gets about its business without trouble, without noise.

Start by banning Monday morning meetings. It sends a good signal and signals are everything.

Embrace the human.

Make autonomous.

Acknowledge

Support.

Instil confidence.

Cut free.

And watch it grow.

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