Spontaneous combustion rule for organisational minimalism

What if the meeting your about the attend, the process you are about to follow or the system you are using, would “spontaneously combust”, in other words, disappear immediately?

How would you feel ? Do you think you would regret it, or would you feel relieved?

Based upon (stolen from) The Minimalist Rulebook, 16 Rules for living with Less. It’s rule #13. You can find the full rulebook here.

Organisational or Business Minimalism

I’m sure you are familiar with the term “minimalism”. I was introduced to it years ago through The Minimalists and the idea behind “less is more” stuck with me. One of the disorders they fight against is “hoarding”.

The definition of hoarding

“Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.”

Recognise this? I see an analogy in organisations. There’s a tendency to add a new process, procedure, checklist, person or team to the organisation for every new problem. Once the problem is solved, everything stays. Nothing is deleted. The humber of systems and processes pile up to a big jumble of complexity and nobody can understand it anymore. And the work environments starts to stink…

Okay, I might be exaggerating just a tiny bit, but you do recognise what I’m saying.

I think it’s time for Organisational or business minimalism and I’m interested in your:

  • Examples
  • Stories
  • Rules
  • Thoughts
  • Ideas

Declutter your meetings, rule 1

😥 You are swamped. Swamped with meetings. And if you take a close look at your calendar, most of them are recurring meetings you have weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or something like that. 

🤨 And of course every meeting has a clear goal, every member including you is needed in the meeting, there’s a clear agenda/topics to be discussed and in last for 45-50 minutes to make sure people have time for their needed bio-breaks (yeah, right…).

Still you need less of them, to stop the back to back meeting days.

✅ Use this rule:
Recurring meetings have a maximum of 6 occurrences. In the 6th meeting there is an extra topic: evaluation. Outcome of this topic:
– Continue yes/no
– If yes, how (cadence, length, improvements, members, etc.)