Is there a place where there are more meetings than in government? I don’t think so. I’ve been an alderman in the municipality of Weesp, close to Amsterdam, and my working life back then was one long succession of meetings. I wish I had had a tool like Yabbu back then to create some space in my agenda.
There are lot of different types of meetings in local government. The most visible are the meetings of the local council, but behind those are countless other meetings, like the meetings of the executive board, meetings of civil servants, meetings with external partners and organisations. In my opinion local government today is nothing else but a meeting paradise.
We have talked to a lot of different civil servants recently, both from municipalities, Dutch provinces and ministries and all confirmed to us they were having too many meetings. The workload pressure has especially increased at municipal level in the Netherlands, but it can be seen everywhere. More than once we met people complaining they were running from meeting to meeting all day long and having no time at all to even have a look at their email.
More time with Yabbu
The idea of Yabbu is to create more time by seeing a meeting as a process and taking care of agenda items online before there is an actual meeting. Participants can discuss agenda items online and close items when there is agreement. This way you can take care of a lot of issues online and create more time for important issues, or issues that would otherwise be left out. Working with Yabbu can be part of a complete transition to a new way of working. One that combines the strengths of online with the benefits of having an actual meeting.
We would love to see local councils use Yabbu for all their meetings. We believe that would be an incredible shift away from simple informative meeting tools to a process and communications based platform. It could create a wole new approach that is much more inclusive. And who could argue against better discussions and better decisions in government?
We also think it would really make sense for government to start using Yabbu for internal meetings of civil servants and also for meetings with external organisations. Wouldn’t it be cool for government to work according to the agile principles we hold dear? If government became much more efficient and effective, creating more time for important issues that right now cannot get the attention they deserve, due to lack of resources. We think that would make a lot of sense! So we’re really looking forward to working with governmental organisations to see how Yabbu can work its magic there.