Executive Time Management

“Organizations in general are remarkably cavalier about how they invest their scarcest resource, the time of their people.”
-Michael Mankins, Bain & Company

Although organizational performance is paramount for most companies, one of the key inputs is little understood and routinely ignored: how team members actually spend their time. In fact, recent studies indicate that employees’ time is often unmanaged and uncontrolled. Fortunately new analytical tools are making it easier to regularly track human productivity variables, such as meeting time, meeting attendance, and email volume. Some forward-looking companies are even placing emphasis on “time budgets” to prioritize important tasks and weed out inefficiencies.

A May 2014 Harvard Business Review article authored by Michael Mankins, Chris Brahm, and Gregory Caimi of global management consulting firm Bain & Company, reports their study of the time budgets of seventeen large corporations. The authors found that many hours of each executive’s day are spent on emails, IMs, phone calls, meetings, and teleconferences. They quantified an inverse relationship between the decreasing incremental cost of communication and its volume – today, many executives receive 200 emails per day. On average, 15% of an organization’s time is spent in meetings, and this amount has increased every year since 2008.

How much value is derived from this deluge of emails and meetings? Using topical examples from companies such as UC Berkeley, Apple, and Ford, the authors propose eight distinct practices organizations can implement to generate value and better manage their most precious resource – time.

Meritas works with top executives to clarify priorities and streamline their workflows to become more effective leaders. Call us today 214-838-2650.

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