How many times does Tom Peters have to say it?
Are managers hard of hearing?
I was amazed to see a video on YouTube with Tom Peters still preaching the same message, ‘Don’t talk about it – do it’. And here we are decades later after Tom Peters first started delivering that message still on the same track of the same record! What is it about managers who have learned that meetings are the be all and end all? How is that efficient? How is it cost effective? Where are the economics?
In the health industry, it was meetings from morning til night. I was drained. I had never ever been in an environment with so many meetings to accomplish so little. And yet people continued to meet day after day, week after week. What a waste of valuable time and what a waste of the taxpayers’ money! Yes, of course it is necessary to have some meetings but meetings on purpose for information, to address a problem, to find a solution or whatever but . . . there is no necessity to be in meetings day in and day out. When does the managing part of the management job get done? Yes, I know, that’s the hard part!
Imagine how much it costs to have a boardroom full of managers sitting around meeting and accomplishing nothing except scheduling more meetings – the cost is astronomical! It was a habit in the health industry as it was in government and big corporations – nothing more. They truly believed that’s “how business is conducted”! Of course, there’s a status symbol attached to it too – if you’re in meetings all day, you must be important! Not.
Let’s simplify this notion:
Imagine if a farmer said to his/her family, “It’s time to plant the seeds but let’s talk about it first”. Because of the numerous meetings, the seeds are planted late or not at all. Where do you think we would get our food from? Absurd to think about it, isn’t it because we expect the farmer to know his/her business, get the crop planted on time for maturity during the growing season. Yet, we accept the notion of late planting or not planting at all in boardrooms – odd, isn’t it?
You don’t have to believe me – there’s a guru who knows the subject much better than I could ever. I believed in what Tom Peters had to say when I first read his books. I believe that, today, more than ever, his message must sink in especially in North America where we have seen a lot of shenanigans at the top but little in the way of productivity – a few getting extremely wealthy while thousands are losing their jobs! Could you expect anything else when people are meeting just to meet – eventually, like little kids in an unsupervised classroom, they’ll eventually get into trouble out of sheer boredom – much more exciting to plot than to actually do work!
Go, Tom Peters, go! One day the message will get through . . . . we hope!