In another one of those “I can’t believe they had to spend money on that!” studies, scientists have proven that too many meetings make people grumpy.
Worst of all, according to Slow Leadership (how’s that for a name?) holding too many meetings passes a strong message: the boss doesn’t trust the team to function without his or her constant interference; and colleagues don’t trust one another not to undermine them in some way.
Last week, something like 80% of the number of hours that should constitute a sane work week was taken up with meetings. Every single one of them ran an hour or longer, although not all of them were worth 10 minutes. So Seth Godin’s post on how to solve the meeting problem resonated. Here are some of his must-do recommendations:
- Understand that all problems are not the same. So why are your meetings? Does every issue deserve an hour? Why is there a default length?
- Schedule meetings in increments of five minutes. Require that the meeting organizer have a truly great reason to need more than four increments of realtime face time.
- Require preparation. Give people things to read or do before the meeting, and if they don’t, kick them out.
- The organizer of the meeting is required to send a short email summary, with action items, to every attendee within ten minutes of the end of the meeting.
What do you do to solve the problem of time-wasting meetings?
excellent idea with the box does solve time and you can finally reach a solution
When you think about meetings,no one wants to go to them. 90 percent are an utter waste of time. I like virtual conferencing, through video IM’s and collaborations better. You can get down to business, share files instantly, and you always keep a record of the conversation.
Excellent tips for more effective meetings. Personally, if a meeting runs much longer than an hour or so, I shut off and become unproductive. However, if the meeting is well planned and agendas are sent out before hand, the time required at the meeting is shortened by great amounts. If longer time is needed, it is well used because everyone is prepared with ideas and comments and are able to focus on the tasks at hand.
Try a standing meeting. No one is allowed to sit down. That tends to keep the meeting moving along.
AA meetings…good way to remember that you should start meetings with an “A-genda” and end with “A-ction” points. Meetings are a necessary evil to drive consistency in information and achieve group consensus. The “too many meetings” syndrome means they are not being used productively. Meetings are a wonderful thing! Just remember to “meet responsibly” ;-)
Meetings waste time because the meeting process is fundamentally broken. Most meeting tips provide some help but are really just papering over the cracks – it’s still hard work to run a productive meeting. What my colleague did over ten years ago was to analyse all the points of failure in a meeting and design interventions for each – some of which are the same as meeting tips you’ll commonly see – but more importantly was to redesign the meeting process to prevent points of failure. We call it Action Meetings as it is designed to generate “action” – as the action that follows a meeting is the true gauge of meeting value.