Insights are often unveiled in casual conversations we have with clients, colleagues or friends – a point in time where both parties realise this is important stuff, and most people are struggling with it. These insights don’t wait for formal engagements – they happen over coffees and on couches. Our ‘couch coffees’ is a continuing series of posts where we’ll publish some of these insights – simple, short and sharp. They might be second nature to some; for others, they might be closer to epiphanies. For most, we hope they’re simply nudges in the right direction.

We spend a lot of time in rooms with teams – virtually or face-to-face, in meetings, workshops, collaborations, conferences, lekgotlas and bosberaads.

The most important reason we gather is to create alignment within a group of people. Alignment is a necessity and an absolute non-negotiable if that group of people are pursuing bold and ambitious goals.

Gatherings, however, take up a lot of senior management time. And time is money. Gatherings are expensive.

The cost of a two-day gathering for a group of executives can quickly run into the hundreds of thousands. Do the sum: the estimated hourly cost multiplied by the number of executives and the number of hours.  It adds up quickly.

This is the explicit cost of alignment. It’s a necessary cost. It’s the cost of meeting.

But there is a hidden cost of alignment that’s not as easy to calculate. Or rather, it’s the cost of misalignment.

Without the appropriate levels of alignment, individuals in a team spin their wheels, step on each other’s toes (accidentally or deliberately), and tend to puff their feathers to showcase how busy they are.

Ask yourself this: What are the decisions you had to make a year ago or six months ago? What’s the cost of not having made that decision a year ago? How much time have you wasted in the past year?

This is the opportunity cost of alignment. It’s a hidden cost. It’s the cost of not meeting.

Too many meetings are expensive. But so are too few.

Spending more time now to align will result in exponential time saved later.

“Ninety minutes of your time can enhance the quality of your team’s work for two weeks or for some eighty-plus hours.”

– Andy Grove, Intel Founder

If you have questions, we’re always keen for coffee.

Get in touch so that we can brainstorm a few solutions together!

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