Eight or nine years ago, One Page Management: How to Use Information to Achieve Your Goals (Riaz Khadem, Robert Lorber, Pat Golblitz) was gifted to me and I thought it was superb. It talks of a US company with a lot of customers and on-going production but, unfortunately, a lot of mismanagement problems. When it became too much, they hired a new CEO. He found that just collecting information within the organisation was a Herculean task. And so he developed an information system where he said, this is my objective. The entire company’s goal was brought down to one page, which focussed everyone, and made a huge difference.
I have read it two or three times, and have implemented it quite extensively in my business life, and have made all my senior management read it. Earlier, we used to have so many reports and papers, but this book changed that.
I’ll give you one example: Follow up is very important because we work a lot with government. I have applied this one page format to our work week: What work is there, who is working on what. Whatever you want to repeat, you mark out, follow up and repeat it for the next week. A government officer does not have the incentive to do our work. He takes his own sweet time, so we need to follow up and chase them. Bringing all these processes on one page helps us focus on the task ahead.
Through this one page system, I find that it helps my team come on the level of my thoughts for the work week ahead. And the time saved is phenomenal. We have a person who earns a one crore rupee salary, which is about Rs. 30,000 per hour. If we are able to use his time properly, we cover quite a lot and you do not waste time on unnecessary stuff. And we have changed our emailing format. No lengthy emails. We write in bullet points and telegraphic language; a one-and-a-half page email becomes just five points.
(As told to Nilofer D’Souza)
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(This story appears in the 02 April, 2010 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)