The following is a condensed, edited version of “Where the Fish Swims, Ideas Fly.” by Paul Bennett, NYT, February 16, 2014
“Until a year ago, I felt that I wasn’t fully able to perform my job because my time was not really my own. Like many people, I was hyper-scheduled, one meeting after another.
So I tried an experiment. I just stopped saying yes and started saying no to things.
I look at my coming week’s meetings every Sunday night and cancel a bunch of them;
– redundant ones where I don’t need to be ‘in the loop’,
– ones where there is an opportunity for someone else to make a decision,
– ones that don’t particularly inspire me, or
– ones where I can’t really add value.
Over the last year, this new way of working has unlocked something powerful in me. Now I don’t spend all day locked in rooms, talking in meetings. Instead, I’m doing stuff with people.
I’m more accessible, available and approachable, allowing myself to be pulled, to drift in and out, and to be available for five-minute or two-hour interactions depending on what’s needed. Because of that, I feel as if I am part of a living, breathing organism, and responding to its needs rather than simply running from place to place with a calendar in my hand, letting conversations and interactions happen naturally over the course of the workday. But I hope it also transmits an important cultural value that we espouse: ‘Talk less, do more’“.
The above is a condensed, edited version of “Where the Fish Swims, Ideas Fly.” by Paul Bennett, NYT, February 16, 2014