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Harv Bus Rev. 2014 May;92(5):74-80, 133.

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Most companies have elaborate procedures for managing capital. They require a compelling business case for any new capital investment. They set hurdle rates. They delegate authority carefully, prescribing spending limits for each level. An organization's time, by contrast, goes largely unmanaged. Bain & Company, with which all three authors are associated, used innovative people analytics tools to examine the time budgets of 17 large corporations. It discovered that companies are awash in e-communications; meeting time has skyrocketed; real collaboration is limited; dysfunctional meeting behavior is on the rise; formal controls are rare; and the consequences of all this are few. The authors outline eight practices for managing organizational time. Among them are: Make meeting agendas clear and selective; create a zero-based time budget; require business cases for all initiatives; and standardize the decision process. Some forward-thinking companies bring as much discipline to their time budgets as to their capital budgets. As a result, they have Liberated countless hours of previously unproductive time for executives and employees, fueling innovation and accelerating profitable growth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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