There is so much richness available to you when you have a face to face meeting that when you see systems being created that avoid this you may wonder why it has been done. Sometimes, the gain in efficiency is fantastic for the business. However, at other times the lack of face to face contact can be detrimental to the business.
When you meet face to face there is the ability to pick up on the nuances of the discussion and come to a decision quickly. When the same approach is tried via e-mail it can sometimes take a much longer time to come to agreement. Face to face can tell you a lot of information.
Timings can become skewed when the discussions aren't in real time (as in a meeting). Often referred to as silos, work moves silently from one work station to another and what could take minutes in a formalised meeting can take days or weeks through other means. Face to face can speed up decision making for critical elements of the business.
The ability to remind and refocus members of the business about the direction we are travelling in and the required efforts can all be done in face to face settings. By coming together as a group it is far easier to maintain standards than to let them slip by letting people 'just get on and do it'.
There is a time and place for face to face meetings. If your business is creating systems to avoid the 'face to face' element then please consider the pros and cons of that decision. The balance between efficiency and effectiveness can be seen at either extreme. We're all smart people and by thinking through our decisions we can come up with a best of both worlds option.
Smartspeed Consulting Limited
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