Execution...We're Not Talking About The French Revolution

Brian Beck PHR, MHROD
November 11, 2008 — 1,959 views  
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Would you believe it if I were to tell you that there are over 10,000 meetings every minute across the US during the business day?  It's amazing how much time we spend in meetings and yet often, don't get much done.  Why does that happen?  How can we avoid these situations?

The first step is accountability.  Everyone in the committee must agree to what the outcomes of the group need to be.  This must be the first step!  Lower turnover...by what percentage?  Lessen spending?  Address office space?  Whatever the issue at hand may be, make sure that the group commits to solutions.  That is key. 

Second, assign roles to group members.  Who will monitor the time and agenda?  Who will keep the group on task?  Who will be the facilitator?  Who will be in charge of resources to accomplish the task?  Who will be the scribe?  There may be other roles that you can think of as well, but the point is that a solid structure to the committee will facilitate a faster and more focused meeting.

Third and most importantly, please challenge the system.  How many times have you heard the old "it's been this way for years" argument during a meeting or in your business?  It's exausting to hear.  I bet that there are many organizations out there that are looking for someone to step up and offer new ideas and concepts that can improve business functions and offer more streamlined and efficient outcomes.  Support your committee arguments with facts, figures, data, and other metrics. 

Forth, execute and implement the plan.  80% of companies talk about and plan ideas but only 20% actually implement those ideas.  Those kinds of committees and companies invest a bunch of dollars to go through these stages, but often don't see past step 1 or 2.  Start with smaller short-term goals.  Once accomplished, begin to look at the long-term goals.  Please make sure that your committee is aware and ready for mistakes and setbacks.  They are going to happen.  Plan for them, be ready, and adjust if necessary. 

Finally, thank your committee members for their time.  Make sure to come together as needed to discuss updates.  Share the information with them as it comes!  Rumors and lack of information to committee members can destroy morale and drive your agendas backward very quickly.  Don't let your concepts become the next "flavor of the month."

I love to see a committee/group concept come to an end....implementation and execution of a well designed and supported plan.  What a great feeling to see a target achiveved!  It's important to realize as well that there will be times when the plans fall through, are cancelled at the last minute, or just plain don't work out.  If that occurs, no worries.  Pick back up, re-evaluate and see what the next step is. 

You know, I once knew a senior executive that got fired for having too many committees under her leadership.  The lack of focus for these meetings was really the key to her demise.  Not every concept, new idea, challenge, or change needs a committee.  Be careful of what you form.  However, if you choose a committee, make sure the steps above are clear, detailed and make sense.  It could take some time at first, but you will be sure to see a much more effective and strategic implementation process.

Brian Beck PHR, MHROD


Brian J. Beck, PHR, M.H.R.O.D., has worked in the human resources field for over 15 years, focusing on recruitment/retention, HR strategic planning, organization and leadership development.