The following article reminds us to stay in the present, and do it right — whatever it is.
It is written by my friend Eli Mina, a Registered Parliamentarian.
PAY ME NOW OR PAY ME LATER
Governments and businesses often discover that a narrow focus on financial considerations may produce short term gains, but at the cost of long term pains. To produce better decisions, organizations need to look beyond narrow fiscal realities, and consider options that involve a more balanced and long term outlook. The caveat to consider is; “Pay me now or pay later.”
The caveat of “Pay me now or pay me later” applies to more than just money. In the case of meetings, “time is money.” Sometimes Boards and Councils become obsessed with the quest to save time, and may therefore find themselves stuck with undesirable consequences later on. It is much better to do things right, even if it takes a bit longer.
Take this example: The Chair rushes a motion to a vote without clearly stating it. Shortly thereafter people complain that they had no clue what they voted on. Procedural arguments ensue: Can we please re-vote on this motion? Was our commitment finalized? The apparent saving in time can result in a loss of much more time later on..
Another example is when a Board or Council is in a hurry to end the discussion on an issue, so much so that members with valid concerns are afraid to speak up, for fear of upsetting others. The consequences may be severe, e.g.: a flawed decision may be made because it was not sufficiently scrutinized. The savings in time can be more than offset by the substantial risk that a flawed decision may present. This also is a clear case of “Pay me now or pay me later.”
The conclusion? It is best to invest the time needed to generate balanced and sustainable decisions. The pace of the deliberations must be comfortable and measured. Slowing down to ensure clarity and to allow close scrutiny of decisions will likely deliver substantial benefits over the long term. The Chair or any participant should not hesitate to say: “Can we slow down please? The desire to be efficient is laudable, but we also need to be effective.”
Eli Mina, M.Sc., P.R.P.
Meeting Mentor &
Web site: www.elimina.com
E-mail address: email@example.com
And I highly recommend his workshops:
“Minute Taking Standards & Related Issues”
A one day workshop on minute taking standards, tools and key principles, and on working effectively with your Council or Board.
“Meetings & Rules of Order”
A one day workshop on shared decision making, making meetings work, dealing with dysfunctions, and demystifying the rules of order.