We are all busy and 'working hard'. Work is more demanding and there just does not seem to be enough time to get everything done.
Organizations love to create work. We push our people and resources to create short term capacity, but at what cost? If we continue to create work and push our resources to 'work harder' our organizations actually get less smart. We tend to do the same things over and over and spend all of our time working on 'stuff'. We spend a limited amount of time focusing on why we have problems and implementing solutions to improve capacity. We stop learning and our capabilities decrease. We get tired and frustrated and our long term capacity decreases.
So what do we do?
Create some 'productive slack'. Current data tells us that most people spend at least one day a week in meetings and another day answering the emails they get when they were in the meetings. This accounts for 40% of the work week. While we need to meet as teams need to have effective communication but real work does not get done in meetings (and most meetings create more work that we do not have time do).
A number of our consortium members have utilized their management system to reduce the time spent in meetings and are getting smarter by engaging their teams in problem solving. As a next step, try the following experiment. Before your team starts their day and their work, meet for 10 minutes to discuss what they are going to do today, what is important and what help is needed. At the end of the day, meet again for 10 minutes and discuss if they had a good day and accomplished what they set out to do. If they did not, ask why, what can we do to make tomorrow a better day and implement the changes. This is extremely effective if you utilize your visual production / project / patient flow boards to conduct your morning meeting and your performance control boards to conduct your afternoon meeting.
And the result ..... at lot less time spent in unnecessary meetings, 30% reduction in emails (we actually talk instead), 50% improvement in execution of our work (we focus on working on the right things) and we get smarter as we are learning and solving problems.