More efficient meetings at NHH

By Astri Inga Kamsvåg

10 March 2016 13:51

(updated: 18 March 2016 13:51)

More efficient meetings at NHH

Holding regular meetings on specific days of the week, setting meeting dates well in advance, using the Outlook calendar, and being more disciplined in meetings are important changes that will make NHH more efficient as an organisation.

Managing Director Nina Skage Photo: Helge Skodvin

Managing Director Nina Skage explains: "As follow-up to the 'Connected Leadership' project, the management wanted to improve our meetings. We realised that better coordination of our meetings would facilitate more efficient and target-oriented work and flow of information. We also realised that we need to improve our time management in meetings. In addition, there has long been a need for an overview of the regular meeting activities at NHH."

"In November we therefore set up a working group to look into this. They delivered their conclusions before Christmas, and the management has decided to implement all the measures proposed by the working group," says Nina Skage.

Hold meetings on specific days of the week

As many of the regular series of meetings at NHH as possible are now going to be held on Mondays and Tuesdays. This will free up the other days of the week for work that requires concentration, travel, and other internal and external meetings and conferences.

Meetings of the statutory boards and committees and other regular meetings shall be held on Mondays. Examples include meetings of the Administrative Appointment Council, the Academic Appointment Committee, the Works Council, the Academic Consultative Committee and the Head of Department's Forum. These bodies meet at different intervals - some meet every four weeks, some every six weeks and others every eight weeks.

Meetings of the line management and administrative meetings will be held on Tuesdays. Every other Tuesday starts with an administrative management meeting, which is followed by a joint management meeting of the rectorate and the administrative management. The rectorate will meet at the end of the day. Meetings within the departments and sections shall take place on Tuesdays at 2 PM, after the management meetings, so that the heads of department can communicate important information and decisions on to their respective departments.

"We think this will be a good system for getting information out into the organisation," says Nina Skage.

Another new measure is that the general administrative meetings will be held on the first Monday after the board meetings, following the same principle as for the departmental meetings: prompt communication of decisions from key meetings out into the organisation.

The goal is to have the new structure in place from 1 January 2017.

Set meeting dates well in advance

To provide greater predictability and overview, the dates of meetings shall be set for a semester or a year at a time. The deadlines for setting meeting dates and publishing them in the Outlook calendar is 1 July for the autumn semester and 1 January for the spring semester.

Meeting tips

In addition, NHH has agreed on a number of principles to make meetings more efficient. The principles concern the meetings' authority to make decisions (is it a decision-making body or an advisory body?), the responsibilities of the person chairing the meeting, the responsibilities of the people attending the meeting, the notice and agenda, and what happens at meetings and between meetings.

Chairing a meeting is demanding, and we clearly have room for improvement here.

Nina Skage

"Chairing a meeting is demanding, and we clearly have room for improvement here," says Nina Skage.

"Since it is often leaders who chair the meetings, we are going to incorporate chairing meetings as a topic in Everyday Leadership," she adds.

"I am convinced that NHH has much to gain by making meetings more efficient. If the relevant documents have been sent out well in advance, so the participants have the opportunity to read them before the meeting, we can use the time in the meeting to get straight down to discussion. At the moment we waste an unnecessary amount of time in meetings wading through many pages of text," Nina Skage admits.

Annual meeting schedule in the Outlook calendar

Each meeting in the regular series of meetings will be entered in Outlook by the secretary for the meeting so that all employees can easily keep track of the dates of the various meetings using Outlook. Meeting notices will also be sent out via the Outlook calendar.

Ten tips for meetings at NHH

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