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Posted by Philip on 14 April 2015, 6:23 pm in , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Individual vs collective impact

Today at a hui of one of my regular clients I was reminded of an important tension and interesting phenomenon in organisational dynamics. It's blogged about ad in finitum.

The tension is the value of meetings over that of individual productivity. The phenomenon is the power of "collective influence" (Alex Smith).

Meetings get a bad rap these days. Particularly online businesses favour virtual teams, online collaboration etc. Alex reckoned 90% of meeting content is irrelevant. People are busy. Time is precious.

On one hand, I agree that meetings can be wasteful. Personally I avoid them if I can.

But there is a difference between a meeting and an intentional gathering or conversation. As I said at the hui today, I have been in several of the latter with another regular client. Everyone is pressed for time, the gathering is delayed...

But, every time, when we finally meet, during or afterwards, something magic happens. An opportunity. A breakthrough. A request for what we offer.

I described this today as a dynamic or energetic outcome. I'm waiting for what will emerge from this week's hui.

If you're arguing about whether individual productivity or meetings are more important, stop. It's a useless conversation.

The conversation is about how to harness the benefit of both individual and collective impact. The questions are, what is a good balance, how are they organised, what are the intentions?

The answers? Well, you tell me.

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