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Thomas Först, head of global network and member of the executive committee
Case Study

How agility in leadership meetings speeds up decision-making

‘Today, communication is one of the greatest challenges for leadership teams due to their decentralised composition’, says Thomas Först. He is head of global network as well as member of the Executive Committee of Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE). On behalf of the Swiss Federation and the cantons, S-GE attracts foreign investments and helps Swiss businesses export into new markets.

During his career, Thomas Först has gained extensive experience in managing cross-cultural leadership teams. He learned that the lack of a common understanding of organisational goals and the needed actions to reach them is a big obstacle to an organisation’s success. The head of global network says: ‘It all starts with transparent and simple communication.’ So let us now see which steps leaders take to enhance their communication.

Agile meeting processes allow for effective communication

The fact that leadership teams are increasingly dispersed around the globe makes effective communication more challenging and, at the same time, more important than ever. Therefore, leaders have to ensure that all team members are always aligned on what the most urgent challenges are. ‘For a swift and dynamic execution of ideas, innovative software and agile processes are elemental’, says Först.

An absolutely critical way of ensuring good leadership communication are meetings. Först argues that a centralised digital platform, which enables access to all relevant information of a meeting, facilitates transparent communication. This is why the S-GE Board of Directors now uses Sherpany, our meeting management software. Sherpany allowed the directors to have easy access to all documents and share ideas and opinions in advance of meetings. According to Först, this led to increased agility during the entire meeting process. Here are some tips on how organisations can bring more agility into their meeting process:

  • Participants engage in conversations on the meeting topics and require further clarification, if needed, before the meeting even starts.
  • During the meeting, participants follow clear rules and drive focus on only the topics that need their contribution.
  • By ensuring collaboration across all stages of a meeting, leaders move decisions and the distributed tasks faster to the execution phase and can constantly track progress

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Efficient leadership is about speeding up consensus and saving time

Implementing agile meetings has a huge impact on the efficiency of an organisations' leadership meetings and decision-making. This was also the case for S-GE.
 

‘Agile meetings certainly increased the speed of consensus’ 
said Thomas Först, head of global network and member of the executive committee, Switzerland Global Enterprise
 

Furthermore, both the meeting organiser and the directors save time. The executive assistant, who is in charge of organising leadership meetings at S-GE, estimates that the administrative tasks now take her four hours less per meeting. Another advantage of Sherpany, according to Först, is its usability. He is convinced that ‘more and more leaders require a simple and user-friendly meeting solution which works around the globe and on different devices and platforms’.

Först envisions a future in which the speed of communication and decision-making will further increase. ‘Communication and collaboration will turn more and more dynamic and interactive by using digital tools to support decision-making.’ We at Sherpany are committed to keeping up with the changing demands of today’s leaders. This is why we are constantly adapting our software in order to improve leadership communication and facilitate agile meeting processes.

 


About Thomas Först

Thomas Först is head of global network and member of the executive committee of Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE). During his career, he has gained experience in international trade and investment, government relations, and business development of SMEs as well as startups. He obtained an executive MBA focussed on managing cross cultural teams around the world and led leadership local teams in several Latin American and European countries.

About Switzerland Global Enterprise

Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE) aims to strengthen Switzerland as a business location. On behalf of the Swiss Confederation and the cantons, S-GE promotes foreign investment in Switzerland and helps Swiss businesses to realise new potential for export into new markets.

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