The Gorman Optimal Meeting Hypothesis

By James Harris, guest writer at ProFinda.

Our CEO, Roger Gorman, often states that “There has never been an optimised meeting ever.” It is of course quite a bold statement to make, but it is worth thinking about.

Within a large global organisation, with talent spread across the world how many meetings, projects, and departments are actually optimal?

Is there no possibility at all that there are colleagues in some far flung office (or even in the floor above you) that could be contributing valuable insight into your current project?

So maybe, just maybe, Roger’s hypothesis isn’t as farfetched as we first imagined. Let’s examine how teams and people are bought together within a large organisation?

The key people that bring teams together are:

  • Sales Managers for Bids
  • Resourcing Managers for Delivery
  • Department Managers for Projects.

Now let’s look at the tools they have to help them:

  • Internal employee directories
  • Internal social tools
  • Asking around
  • Plus… the ubiquitous mass email!

Let’s take a look at these and their effectiveness in turn.

Internal employee directories: great if you know the person you need and their phone number, pretty limited otherwise. In the majority of cases you probably have a tiny pool of information on the employee and their skills etc.

Internal social tools: deployed on mass over the last several years, they have helped companies to some extent but really have fallen far short of delivering sustained positive business outcomes. They’re useful environments, but not the place you go as a Senior Sales Manager, Senior Resourcing Manager, or Senior Department Manager to get stuff done.

Asking around: even for the most social of us, how many people do we actually know? In an organisation of 100K, 60K, even 40K some of the most social people may know up to 200 colleagues— a social superstar may even know up to 500 but that still doesn’t really scratch the surface of the organisation’s global talent pool available.

Ubiquitous mass email: the go to tool to find people! Everyone defaults back to the mass email even though a huge number of statistics confirm the ineffectiveness of people constantly sending mass emails.

It seems that the most frequently used approaches to finding the best people globally seem very limited. Perhaps it is not unsurprising that teams consist of the most familiar to us, rather than the most relevant. So perhaps Roger’s bold statement isn’t so bold after all…. and begs the question how many bids are lost? How many projects overrun? How many employees leave because they weren’t in that meeting?

About the author

James Harris is a guest writer at ProFinda - connect with him on LinkedIn

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