My mission is to simplify companies. I usually start with outsourcing activities that are not contributing to the core business and I reduce the amount of managers. Managers do have the natural habit to make things complicated and because I simplify companies, less managers are needed.
I’m currently running a health care company together with 750 nurses and there is not a single manager. The nurses are doing manager tasks and they seem to enjoy this a lot. The quality of care has greatly improved and the happiness in work is much higher.
But at some point I realized I forgot to simplify one thing; myself!
Working 60 hours a week. A lot of meetings, phone calls, mails. Always busy, always in a hurry. No time for lunch, a bit late and sometimes unprepared for the next meeting. Always those things in mind that still need to be done. Postponing tasks, especially those I don’t like to do, because I’m so busy. I am not able to give the attention to things and people needed. I wasn’t practising for myself what I preach to others.
So I decided to simplify my work. I wanted to be able to spend more time on things that matter, instead of being a slave to my agenda and email. That’s where Headroom comes in. Now, I don’t have to juggle my agenda and day-to-day business anymore, its done by a specialist.
My tips? First, de-activate your voicemail; people will reach you (or your Assistant) anyway. What a blessing! Second, start saying no and reduce the amount of meetings. In fact, my Headroom Assistant said with a big smile that my agenda was simply ridiculous to reach my professional goals. I found it a bit scary to let go of my email, phone calls and scheduling and to say no to meeting requests, but it instantly paid off. Big time!
Now I am even considering removing my email from my mobile phone. I am not there yet, but it won’t take long. Yes, sometimes people state that it’s more difficult to reach me, but when we eventually speak to each other, I really do have the time and attention to add value.
Matthias van Alphen, Director Wijkzorg at Amstelring