Russell’s 5-minute Rule

Russell Justice“Don’t allow more than five minutes to elapse in a meeting without writing something on a flip chart.” This is a gem from Russell Justice, international quality consultant for Eastman Chemical/Kodak (retired) and co-founder of The Transformation Network.

After five minutes in a meeting, Russell asks the question, “What are we saying here?” and writes down the answer. If the conversation starts wandering, he turns the five-minute timer on.  The purpose of his meetings is not to “yak,” but to:

  • Define problems
  • Identify causes
  • Make decisions
  • Plan actions (including reinforcement)

Writing decisions in a meeting includes a bonus, expressed here in a quote by Dr. Masaaki Imai, author of Kaizen: The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success:

          “The weakest ink is better than the strongest memory.”