The Semco Style 5 Principles to transform the way we work
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Meet, Track And Challenge

Use meetings to create the safety for people to speak up

Growth and profit are a product of how people work together – Ricardo Semler


Meetings can be the bane of corporate life: There are those endless meetings, where much gets said, but little or nothing gets decided conclusively; then, there are meetings which get hijacked by a few dominant or disruptive players; and then there are meetings which serve as superficial covers for hidden agendas and corporate games.

But, what is the original purpose of a meeting? To serve as a common ground where people can come together, share information and air out concerns. It’s an opportunity to mingle with peers and collaborate on what must be the next plan of action. Simply put, meetings are educational, instructional and social in nature and can be used to foster better connections, deeper understanding and practical problem solving.

And they needn’t always be about work, either: Employees in large organizations tend to go through their entire tenures without meeting and connecting with colleagues from other departments and teams. Annual conventions, although meant to bridge this gap, aren’t a strong enough solution. So what can a company do to help its people not just meet each other regularly, but to open up and speak freely about things beyond work? This is particularly relevant, when a company is considering redefining its organizational structure or contemplating some major change. The off-work meetings can play an important role in creating safety for people to speak up and raise issues.  

On the same note, organizations and leaders need to keep in mind that people are creatures of habit and that they won’t be able to make everyone open up immediately. It’s going to take a long time, a lot of meetings and loads of patience to keep encouraging people to speak up and actively participate. But eventually, even the most introverted among people will begin to speak out and that’s when the meetings will really start to take flight.




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