Monday, December 04, 2006

Solving Business Problems in Five Minutes

I don't know about you, but I am always looking for ways to move through my business day more swiftly.

Thus, I was intrigued by "The 5-Minute MBA", an article in The New York Times (11/19). It's all about "speed coaching" – a 5-minute (and I mean 5-minutes!) business problem solving session, sponsored by the Women's Leadership Exchange — at which businesswomen can receive "speed coaching". These five-minute sessions with experts in everything from marketing and sales to finance and law are designed to solve such problems as: Should I change the name of my company? How do I strengthen my website to my firm's marketing advantage? How can we improve our management structure?

"I came away from all this speed coaching reminded of how intense five minutes can be and how much can be covered if you really concentrate," concludes NYT reporter Lisa Belkin.

Of course, there's the corollary: How much time we waste during a business day by not being as focused as we could be.

Think about how many times we repeat ourselves when making a point or giving instructions. Think about how we sidetrack ourselves and each other with sometimes irrelevant information. Or the excessive and unnecessary amount of detail included. Or the times we have made people wait in our offices while we take a phone call. Or just lingering in someone's office long after we got what we came for.

What if we prepared what we want to say before approaching an associate? A paragraph might become a sentence. What if you entered someone's office and just told them what you had to say ... no drama, no embellishments, no sidetracking.

As I noted last week, acute listening — as well as focused talking — can really save time. I'm not exempting myself. I could do better on both fronts.

Of course, I am not suggesting taking humanity out of the business relationship. I am merely suggesting an approach which might be more considerate and add more value (and profits) most of the time. Having coffee and socializing with your colleagues certainly have their place. But if you can solve business problems in five minutes through sheer discipline, you'd probably save clients ten times that amount in billable time and dramatically enhance your own profitability through all the additional work you will be able to manage.

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Anonymous kare Anderson said...

We loved the speed coaching so much we wrote about it

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 9:34:00 PM  

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