I'm taking my morning stroll down the hallway and I’m doing absolutely nothing.
If you didn't know better you might even mistake me for a
Disney executive. There are tables of snacks and coffee in the
hallway and all of the meeting rooms are full. That's pretty much the
way it goes in today’s business world. People are either on their way back
from a meeting or rushing to a new one. Back in the old days we
didn't have daily meetings. Heck! We didn't even have weekly or
monthly meetings. When the Old Maestro, Walt Disney wanted to
be updated on things - it was only then we had a meeting.
Unlike the rest of my colleagues I'm able to freely roam the hallways
and observe the business at hand. What I find most remarkable
is the fact that people spend so much time talking about things that need
to be done. Back in the days of Disney long past - we didn't talk
about it - we simply did it. I'll provide an example. Had you been
walking down the hallway of the Animation Building in the fifties or
the sixties you would have seen dozens of artists huddled over their
drawing boards. Upstairs on the second and third floors of the
Animation Building you'd see story artists hashing over a sequence
in the large story rooms. What you probably wouldn't see would be
a group of people sitting around a conference table engaged in
Some years ago, I remember an executive who held staff meetings in
a large room without chairs. No one needed to get comfortable
because the meeting would never last more than a few minutes.
What had to be said never took longer than five or ten minutes. I'll
bet today's senior managers could easily stretch that ten minute meeting to
at least an hour or more. It's become a way of life and today it's
viewed as quite normal. Further, people are serious about their
meetings. In fact, an employee proves their worth by the number of
meetings they attend.
Of course, today’s manner of conducting business remains a puzzlement. How the heck did this amazing company thrive for decades without all those meetings? How did they manage
to accomplish so much without a bunch of managers sitting around a
table and talking endlessly? The answer is obvious. Back in the old
days people actually did the work or they were not going to remain
employed very long. Today, you can earn a pretty good salary by doing pretty
much what I do everyday. And, I don't do anything.