Decluttering Bureaucracy from Business

An article for the Economist discusses the various types of clutter that seem to accumulate in businesses, in spite of all our efforts to prevent it. Organizational complexity is chief among them. It used to be that a major business imperative was “make money.” That imperative is now accompanied by myriad other considerations, like being kind to the environment and respecting diversity. Granted, these are necessary considerations, but deftly juggling all of them is difficult.

Another type of clutter is the deluge of meetings to which we subject ourselves. And there is a correlation between higher job titles and increased meeting frequency: “Senior executives spend two full days a week in meetings.”  One more common form of clutter is email. Email is endless, and every piece of it read subtracts from available work time.

The article advocates regular “spring cleaning” to remove complexities that build. Examples of this include Lenovo granting staff the ability to halt meetings that derail from their intended purpose, and apparently one organization “made savings equivalent to cutting 200 jobs by halving the default length of meetings to 30 minutes” and by capping meeting sizes at seven employees.

For more reflection and recommendations, you can view the full article here:

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