Lively session last week at a meeting of our Section Heads with the Executive Team. We brainstormed in three groups around what we should stop doing, what we should start doing, and what we should continue doing. Each group had a go at all three flipcharts, then we each picked our top priority in all three categories. The process was as good as the outcome, and we managed to find plenty to talk about and discuss. We didn't all agree with each other and that lead to some lively debate.
The "STOP" suggestions ranged from attending pointless meetings, moaning, and thinking narrowly, to fluffware (my favourite!), dithering and obsolete systems. The top priorities were (in no particular order):
• Making commitments without resource
• Waste of time meetings
• Support for too many systems and services
• Ridiculously complicated processes
• Making errors and ignoring, ie not learning from, them
START had a whole range of suggestions including many about how we work particularly promoting cross team working, reviewing and/outsourcing more systems including the portal and the VLE and a lot of suggestions around knowing our costs.
And top of the list were:
• Prioritising more effectively
• Cost /benefit analysis of current activities
• Promoting what we do
• Producing software with user-friendly interfaces
• Thinking of user requirements from the start
• Reducing the number of incidents through clear processes and communication
The things we wanted to continue were around valuing and developing our staff, innovating, providing core services and having a friendly and helpful attitude. Those with the highest scores were:
• Focus on quick wins (80/20 rule)
• Value staff
• Supporting Faculties
• To have a sense of humour
• Using common sense
So, that's just a flavour - we filled about 12 flip charts. Some very specific things listed and some very general. Now we're going to have hard decisions to make over the next few weeks about what we stop, start and continue and this discussion was very helpful and a good start.