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Productivity Flat White Newsletter #3: The Kaizen 2.0

Jan Rezab

CEO

June 26, 2020

8

min read

All the newsletters have become a morning espresso. The Economist does it. The Spectator does it. Espresso is a fast format with condensed information. Productive! Time is limited, so we do a Flat White! Enjoy our double shot of productivity insights.

First espresso shot: If you have 1 minute:

We are moving towards the finishing line to launch the next version of our platform. The big reveal will happen soon. And before it does, let us explain the value we bring to our clients.

Throughout my life, as I was building different companies, the best thing to do to improve and get better (more productive) at something was to stop and change the way we do things. Change is not always popular, but almost always necessary to get better. Have you heard of Kaizen? At Time is Ltd., we combine what has been proven in the past by the most successful companies, and we strengthen these behaviors with data. At this stage, Time is Ltd. delivers awareness into calendars (time spent) and communication. All of us know how frustrating it is to work with colleagues that lack self-awareness. How frustrating can it be to work for a company that is unaware of how much of their people’s time wastes away?

Second espresso shot: If you have 3 minutes:

Time awareness should be an essential part of your standard calendar hygiene. How much time do you spend in internal (team) or external (partner) meetings? How many of the uninterrupted three-hour blocks of focus time do you have in your calendar? How do your teams manage their time and spend time with other teams? Do you know?

Keeping your company’s time well organized should be part of everyone’s routine. Today tracking of digital time is arriving into people’s lives: iPhone screen time reports, social networks help give you more awareness about your time spent on them. We spent a considerable part of our work lives in meetings. Some people spend more time in meetings than they do on their iPhones, which is a pattern especially typical for managers. Do not underestimate the time lost when a company of 1000 employees and every one of them wastes 2 hours a month. That means you are wasting 1000 man-days, 2 years 8 months, and 26 days of the workforce. (And, I did not exclude weekends and holidays.)

So you have to stop, take a step back, look at what is the current status quo, what the data says, take time to think how could you change it, do it, and then check with data again.

Kaizen is about; instead of punishing employees for mistakes, managers encourage workers to stop down and reflect, implement changes, and start again. “The Kaizen approach is based on the belief that continuous, incremental improvement adds up to substantial change over time.” One of the most critical Kaizen principles is to reduce time and energy waste. The right element of productivity is that less is more. However, what is less in your case? Slow down, think, and improve.

The challenges of not doing this individually, but doing this as a team. Everybody wants your time without even realizing how much it means to you. It is easy to ping somebody email, or direct message without even thinking whether I can do this thing faster on my own or not. The notifications keep appearing and even worse ringing on our devices throughout the entire day or even night, twenty-four seven. We have touched this topic a bit with Rani Mola for her Vox Recode article.

Milk foam with coffee art: If you have 5 minutes (+ 2 or 9 minutes):

At Time is Ltd., we like to see frameworks like agile or Kaizen and back it up with technology and data. We use data from things each company already has, and something that’s been laying around there for a long time. Cloud calendars, emails, communication (Slack), CRM (Salesforce) enable platforms like ours to quickly get data and prepare a new view into the existing internal data. So using Kaizen as a framework: Stop, see the data, think about how to improve, and do it. That is the new Kaizen 2.0.

If you are interested — watch my talk at the Innovation Week international conference about Innovating Productivity with Kaizen 2.0. on our Youtube channel. This video has fourteen minutes (so if you watch at double speed as I do, it will save you 7 minutes of your precious time)

We love feedback! If you are experiencing productivity issues, let me know what do you consider your biggest challenge? We want to look at those challenges and find patterns in them.

I am looking forward to your replies,
Jan Rezab
Time is Limited; opportunities are not ;-)

P.S: In case you missed them — our previous newsletters are stored on our brand new Medium account. We will be posting more about productivity insights and patterns we are starting to understand.

P.S.S.: If you happen to be in Las Vegas for the Microsoft Inspire conference, we can meet in person.

wRITTEN BY

Jan Rezab

Founder & CEO of @timeisltd