Welcome to the Future

Now is the time to radically challenge the way you and your organisation have been doing things

Welcome to the Future

With many of us now working from home and our organisations continuing to function this is a prime opportunity to start challenging those processes and habits that have just been part of the fabric for decades, but which may actually not be required at all, or not required as frequently.

Every organisation, no matter how large or small does things that are either unproductive, ineffective or actually a total waste of time. The problem is that we never have the time to challenge these activities – usually because we are too busy doing all the things that eat into our time in the first place.

Given the change of circumstances that we are all finding ourselves in I am sure that many processes are on hold, many meetings are not being held and many things are not been done that used to get done.

We must now ask ourselves 3 questions when we return to normality

  • “Did we really need to do that task?”
  • “Did we really need to meet every week?”
  • “Did we really need to do that task as frequently”





Many of us, and it is just human nature, tend to follow the herd. It is called “Groupthink” which describes the situation where a person does not want to upset the “group” thinking or does not want to be the maverick.

How many times have you heard that phrase or variations thereof eg. “But we have always done it that way”. Much too often I would guess.

Let me give you an example:

A number of years ago I had a Project Manager who told me a story. Let’s call him Mike.

One of Mike’s responsibilities was to produce a weekly status report for the Project Executive Steering Group made up of senior executives. The task would normally take Mike 3 to 4 hours, every week.

Now Mike suspected, well actually he knew, that the members of the Project Executive Steering Group very rarely, if ever, read the status reports. Mike therefor decided to conduct an experiment.

Mike would send the members of the Steering Group an email with the status report attached as an excel file. One week he simply sent each member a blank spreadsheet – appropriately named of course – and stood back and waited.

What do you think happened?

Correct – absolutely nothing. Not one of the Project Executive Steering Group contacted Mike to tell him that the spreadsheet was empty.


Well, obviously, none of them actually opened it.

This went on for a period of about 4 to 5 weeks until one member did notice and contacted Mike. All Mike did was apologise and attached the correct report.

However, at the next physical Steering group meeting he announced what he had been doing and challenged the Executives. There was much embarrassment of course but they all put their hands up and admitted that actually they were not that interested in weekly updates. The outcome was an agreement that there was actually no need to submit weekly and that monthly was sufficient there by saving Mike 1.5 days a month.




 There are many such examples within your organisation and this is your opportunity to stand up when you return and to challenge just why we have been doing things the way we have.

During this time just start to think about everything that you, your boss and your colleagues that you support used to do and now cannot do or cannot do as frequently but where there has not been a significant deterioration in performance. For example:-

  • Is the Weekly Meeting actually necessary? Should we not consider making them every two weeks when we return or even every three weeks?
  • How many normally recurring meetings were actually not held during this period and did it make any difference? Did people manage to communicate without having the meeting? If so, is that meeting absolutely necessary?
  • Did you have meetings that people would normally travel to? Did they cope meeting remotely? If so, then why revert to meetings that require travelling?
  • Has anybody complained about not receiving information from you which you would normally send? If not, then challenge whether they actually needed that information in the first place
  • Have people managed to cope with electronic reports as opposed to printed versions? If so, is it absolutely necessary to print all these reports for future meetings?



Stand Out




We are supporting #askfortraining


Everything you want is out there waiting for you.

But you have to take action to get it.


#AskForTraining starts on Monday 9th September 2019!

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The world of work, especially for assistants, is changing so fast that within the next five years the role will be all but unrecognisable from the current way that we view it.

One of the questions that the team at Executive Secretary Magazine revisit time and again is how to inspire you to go and ask for the training that you need to futureproof your careers.

This year, the Executive Secretary Magazine team has really focused on and brainstormed this question. The result is their #AskForTraining campaign, which begins next week.

BMTG (UK) Ltd and the Advanced Certificate for the Executive Assistant: ACEA® are delighted to be supporting tis fantastic initiative

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#AskForTraining takes place over a two-week period from 9th – 20th September. It is a ten-day discovery process, to help you to decide on what skills training you need and how to approach your Manager for the budget to attend. The team has been working hard to build a bank of resources, films, free training and a step-by-step workbook with accompanying daily email, to help you to source and ask for the training you need.


The team have also been collating a full calendar of events for the next 12 months with training and networking opportunities right the way across the world, so that you can find exactly what you need, in the location where you need it.


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Don’t worry if you didn’t see this  before the start of this campaign. You can sign up at any time and it will start the 10-day process from the beginning. But obviously, to make best use of all the additional tools, it would be best to sign up now.

Join their Facebook or LinkedIn groups to follow along with the campaign. Or follow Lucy Brazier on Twitter @lucybrazier. Their campaign hashtag is #AskForTraining so you can also follow all the action by searching via the hashtag.

This campaign can be the beginning of anything you want but you will need to take action.

The team at Executive Secretary Magazine are excited to bring you these much-needed tools, all in one place. We must all keep learning because we all need experience, education and an environment of people who will challenge us to be bigger, better, faster and stronger!


It’s time to take the bull by the horns and #AskForTraining.


We take our hats off to the team at Executive Secretary Magazine for launching this initiative

Questions? Email Lucy Brazier at lbrazier@executivesecretary.com


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