EMI Music is one of the world’s leading music companies, home to some of the most successful and best known recording artists. EMI traces its history back to the very beginnings of recorded sound and music as one of their original companies was founded by the inventor of the gramophone.
Since then EMI has always been at the forefront of technology and change. EMI scientists invented stereo recording and were closely involved in the development of magnetic tape. They were also behind the birth of electrical television and radar.
EMI streamed the first complete album over the internet and was the first company to release a digital album download. EMI also launched the first internet video single in 2001 and was the first major music company to make its music available without digital rights management (DRM) software.
Challenge for Priority Management
Due to their high profile clients and 24/7 global business, staff at EMI tend to work in a re-active, short deadline driven environment. The management team especially were working long hours, attending non stop meetings and hopping from one deadline to another. Email traffic at EMI is higher than average and often includes large music and video files meaning mail box limits were reached quickly. With a move to new premises EMI wanted to provide their staff with the following:
- Effective processes to better manage workload
- Better work life balance
- More time to focus on high priority items
- A reduction in email traffic
- A more pro-active vs re-active environment
They also wanted to achieve these results without changing their energetic and creative culture.
Solution from Priority Management
A tailored version of Priority Management’s Working Sm@rt with Outlook programme was chosen as the best solution to the challenges faced by EMI staff. We began by running one-on-one sessions with the executive team, helping them gain better focus on their main objectives and filtering unnecessary diversions and interruptions.
In discussions with the Management team we then designed and implemented a roll out of the Working Sm@rt programme across all levels of the organisation. By collating feedback from these sessions, an email and communications charter was then developed (in conjunction with the executive team) and presented to the whole organisation. Each member of the executive team took turns to present a section of the charter to staff. The charter included;
- Work/life balance expectations,
- Email communication guidelines,
- Meeting do’s and don’ts,
- Expected email response times.
Following the training EMI implemented a daily “no interruption” hour where staff can work on high priority tasks and items.
A four stage pre and post course evaluation process showed the following results from the training:
- 65.6% increase in staff’s Outlook skills
- 41.3% increase in managing communications
- 55.4% increase in information management
- 43.9% increase in prioritising and time management
Each person also re-gained an average of 49 mins of productive time per day. (a 10% productivity gain).
Additional, anecdotal feedback indicates an approximate 10% drop in the volume of email sent and received internally and a great improvement in the quality and structure of emails sent.