Working Smarter, Not Harder

In this chapter I have extracted some of key lessons CFOs need to learn from The Leading-Edge Manager’s Guide to Success.1 At some point it would be worth reading the other issues that I have had to omit due to space constraints.

I have been fortunate to have witnessed a number of amazing teams. Set out in this chapter are some of their practices, along with some of my thoughts on working smarter, not harder.

Staff Debriefing at the End of the Day

Staff debriefings are rare these days, and if they are scheduled, they are often the first meeting to be deferred or canceled. This is often because the debriefings are not handled in the appropriate way, and thus staff members may consider them a waste of time. The situation can be different. One high-performance team has an open-ended debriefing daily in the last 15 minutes of the working day. Normally it takes only the allotted 15 minutes, but it can extend should the team require it. In their debriefing sessions, team members cover these issues:

  • How best to help a particular in-house client who is having difficulties
  • Ways to improve operations
  • Plans for the next day and next week
  • Finishing off communication that due to the pressures of the day was not completed
  • Popping the balloon on those difficult issues that may have grown out of proportion during the day

Another point worth noting is that this high-performance team could not operate if it chose to have meetings during its key service delivery time. ...

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