Business Practices We Need to Bring Back
I read an interesting post on the HBR Blog Network. The title of the blog is: Old-School Business Practices Worth Bringing Back. The author discusses, what “old school” office habits might be worth resurrecting? The 5 habits:
- Dress well. This wouldn’t necessary mean growing more superficial, spending more money, or even relapsing into an era of bespoke three-piece suits. But it might mean aspiring to an occasional concern for aesthetics.
- Make meetings distraction-free. Doing so can make meetings more focused and productive, and make presenters feel more respected.
- Lengthen lunch. Finding time — even once or twice a week — for an overlong lunch with colleagues has the potential to create stronger relationships at work and make us healthier and more productive in the process.
- Be punctual. It keeps us focused. It generates a perception in others that we’re reliable. It shows respect for other people, and it can decrease the costly impact of wasted time.
- Take a real vacation. If you left the office for a Caribbean beach trip in 1950, it was genuinely hard to stay in touch — no mail, phone calls, or email could reach you.
I thought it appropriate to add my own habits to bring back, resurrect and start using before it’s too late.
- Stop hiding behind email, voice mail and texting. Pick up the phone and talk to people directly in real time. Better still, if possible, walk over to the person’s office and take face-to-face. Remember MBWA – management by wandering around. Time to bring it back!
- Stop hiding behind all the data. We have more data available than ever before, yet take longer than ever to make decisions. Many times not making decisions at all and missing opportunities. Analysis Paralysis – I know many of us have said it, have lived it and all too often hid behind it. Time to get back to making decisions.
- Handwritten notes / cards. Remember when you received a hand written note from the boss saying good job? Sadly, I’m sure most of you reading this are shaking your head and thinking, I’ve never gotten a hand written note from the boss (OK, this brings up another lost habit – one minute manager). How about a hand written card versus those idiotic electronic cards with birds flying across your computer screen. I realize we all have terrible penmanship; the point here is showing you care, taking the time and writing (not typing) a note.
- One Minute Manager – One Minute Praisings / One Minute Reprimands. Catch people doing something right. Reprimand as soon as something wrong is done and discuss the behavior not the person. One minute praise and one minute reprimand, then move on. Relatively simple, yet has become a lost art. Take the minute; the results are well worth it.
- Have a short non-work related conversation with a colleague, your employee, your manager, etc. After all we spend more at work than anywhere else, shouldn’t we know some of the people we work with?
There you have it, 10 habits worth bringing back. What other habits do you feel are worth bringing back? Which of the above habits / practices have you used? Please share your experiences with us.