All organizations are slowed down by unnecessary behaviors that choke productivity.
These practices can help you clear some of it away:
Pick up the phone.
An email chain can be a useful reference, but it frequently takes more time to write an email than to have a conversation. Conversations can get your questions answered immediately and prevent future back-and-forth messages.
Ask your employees: What meetings can we eliminate? What reports can we stop doing? What steps in a process can be removed? Let your team know that their suggestions won’t be taken as complaints but as creative ideas for improving productivity.
Stop reviewing low-impact work.
It’s wise to thoroughly review documents being sent to potential clients, but not all work products are mission-critical. Tell your team that it’s their responsibility to ensure their own quality control — and that you trust them to do a great job.
Adapted from “To Simplify, First Clear the Underbrush,” by Ron Ashkenas and Lisa Bodell.