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Leadership Matters: The Committee to Eliminate Committees

two funny dromedaries or camels having a conversation
By Dan Rockwell

2 minutes

A tongue-in-cheek suggestion for keeping your credit union’s meetings and time wasting at a minimum

This post is republished with permission from Dan Rockwell’s Leadership Freak blog

“A camel is a horse designed by a committee.” Camels are awesome, but they’re often a poor substitute for horses. A horse designed by a committee tries to solve too many problems.

A facetious suggestion: Establish the Committee to Eliminate Committees (CTEC, pronounced “See-Tech”). CTEC’s job is the evaluation and elimination of all but essential meetings and committees.

Guidelines for CTEC

1. Meet once a quarter.

2. Review cost reports for every meeting.

  • Everyone who calls a meeting must send a cost report to CTEC.
  • Cost reports shall include the combined salary for everyone in the room during the meeting, including travel time.
  • Direct meeting costs like food, travel and lodging shall be included.
  • Estimated lost opportunity costs if everyone in the room had done something like creating, serving or keeping customers shall be listed.
  • Support staff costs the meeting incurs shall also be explained and included.

3. CTEC shall publish the cost of all meetings on the company’s internal website along with the person’s name who called the meeting.

5 Questions to Evaluate Meetings

  1. What was the stated purpose of your meeting/committee?
  2. What specific result was expected from your meeting?
  3. What result did you achieve?
  4. How often did you meet?
  5. Who actually did work as a result of the meeting? (Follow up action: Eliminate everyone from meeting rosters who isn’t doing real work.)

Committee or Task Force?

Eliminate the term “committee” from organizational language. Anyone who uses the term is required to buy lunch.

Replace the term committee with task force. Assemble a task force to solve specific problems or identify and seize specific opportunities.

Set a death date that determines the life cycle of a task force. One month. Two months. No more than three months. Any group that meets longer than three months is fodder for the Committee to Eliminate Committees.

Apply It At Your Credit Union

  • What committees/meetings are essential to organizational success?
  • How might leaders eliminate or abbreviate meetings?

Based in central Pennsylvania, Dan Rockwell is freakishly interested in leadership. According to the Center for Management & Organization Effectiveness, the Leadership Freak blog is often the most socially shared leadership blog on the internet. An Inc. magazine Top 50 Leadership and Management Expert and Top 100 Great Leadership Speaker and an American Management Association Top 30 Leader in Business of 2014, Rockwell had his first leadership position in the non-profit world at age 19.

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