At InstallShield, the software company I co-founded, we topped out at around 300 people. Like with any organization, whether technical, sales, or marketing there is lots of coordination required and decisions to be made. Over the years we tried different organizational systems including Franklin Covey, some part of Six Sigma, and a couple of others where we went to multi-day off-site seminars to learn about them. All with the idea of becoming better at making decisions, more efficient and accurate.
I have sat in many meetings, some called by me, many by called by others where we WASTED lots of time for MANY people. Oh my, the time we wasted. Why? Part youth and inexperience, part was trying to be a perfectionist, part was ‘the routine’ that's how meeting are. It's impossible to expect everybody to be busy and efficiently at meetings especially when more and more people are involved. As always we evolve and learn. A new idea recently came from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. He commented on decision-making using what’s referred to as the 70% rule. You can explore it on Amazon. It’s awesome.
Arriving at a strategy at a company is a big source for more meetings. I have been involved in, and even orchestrated, many meetings where we were trying to get everyone to agree on a strategy. There are always reasons for this either dealing with personalities, lack of knowledge or unsure about which direction to go that causes this overthinking. Looking back at our many decisions and the time spent on fake-perfection, the 70% strategy would have saved lots of valuable time. We may have made more mistakes than we would have at 90% certainty, but I doubt it. In any new business area, as we were in, you never have enough information even to make 90% decisions. You just hope you do.
I love the 70% rule.