Tireless investor cuts to the chase

Tireless investor cuts to the chase

HINT to bosses: The next time you find yourself in a meeting that stretches on for hours without achieving anything, try removing all the chairs - forcing everyone to stand.

That was the simple solution used by local businessman Jonathan Lim Keng Hock to focus minds when he was faced with the problem, a pet peeve of executives at many other firms here.

"They were not discussing the agenda of the meeting... I told them that if standing didn't work, in future, the person talking would need to hold a medicine ball too," said Mr Lim, 53.

Fortunately, things did not get to that stage. The staff quickly got the idea, and meetings were soon completed in under 30 minutes, down from more than two hours previously.

Interminable-meeting syndrome reared its ugly head after Mr Lim sold his home-grown firm Romar Positioning Equipment to Irish industrial equipment company Charter International in 2008.

He stayed on for another 18 months post-acquisition to help with the transition.

But he found that some of the new foreign executives would cause the meetings to drag on, go off on irrelevant tangents and fail to discuss the matters on the agenda.

Mr Lim's no-nonsense solution reflects key aspects of his personality - straight-shooting, organised and extremely focused.

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