Why meetings are a drag… How to have ‘healthy’ business plans… Norway’s 100% emission reduction goal

Why meetings are a drag

What is more annoying than arriving at a meeting and not getting a cup of tea or a bikkie? Quite a lot, as it happens.

A new study in the US has examined what is really causing frustration in meetings, reports Inc.com. Disorganisation tops the list, according to the “Ouch Point” study by Opinion Research USA.

Of 1037 full or part-time workers polled, 27% ranked disorganised, rambling meetings as their top frustration, followed by 17% who said they were annoyed by peers who interrupt and try to dominate meetings.

Good news for Crackberry addicts: Blackberry use is not as annoying as people falling asleep: 9% of respondents were bothered by co-workers nodding off, compared to just 5% who said they get frustrated by others checking e-mail. Mobile phone interruptions (16%) and meetings without food or drink (6%) are even worse.

Among the other “ouch points” ranked by respondents were: meetings without bathroom breaks (8%) and people leaving the meeting early or arriving late (5%). Only 4% of respondents said they were most frustrated by meetings that start late and those that end without distributing a written recap.

How can business leaders embed “healthy” thinking in the organisation?

Sustaining corporate performance depends on a mental discipline founded on the simple metaphor of human health, which improves when cared for and deteriorates when neglected, The McKinsey Quarterly writes.

Its research has deepened the understanding of what a healthy corporation looks like and, more importantly, what business leaders can do to embed healthy attitudes throughout their organisations. Mindfulness of daily pressures, cognitive traps and self knowledge traps block the way.

Defining business health is the first step: “We distilled the survivors into five overarching characteristics of business health: resilience, execution, alignment, renewal, and complementarity.” Then, how to build these qualities?

McKinsey says: “The quickest way to get everyone in an organisation thinking deeply about its health is to break down resources into two categories — those devoted to driving performance and health, respectively.

One ready reckoner is labor costs. Executives, for example, should routinely know how many of their employees work on delivering the current operating plan as opposed to looking after the underlying health issues described earlier. That way, they can have well-informed conversations about whether or not they are investing resources in a balanced way.” Click here for more.


Norway target to reduce emissions by 100%

Now here’s a serious greenhouse target. Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg recently declared: “In the period up to 2050, Norway will undertake to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 100% of our own emissions,” reports Business 2.0 writer. “This does not mean no emissions… But it does mean that each tonne of greenhouse gases emitted is to be offset by an equivalent reduction elsewhere. This adds up to zero emissions,” the Stoltenberg says.

Norway obtains about 95% of its electricity from a renewable source, hydro power, but it is the world’s third-largest exporter of oil after Saudi Arabia and Russia. Oil has made the country rich.

How will it do it? The Norwegian Government has begun a project to develop carbon-capture technology for a natural gas plant, and Norway sequesters C02 from some North Sea gas production under the seabed. It offers significant tax breaks for electric cars – which makes the $92,000 Tesla Roadster an affordable car in this country.


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