Meetings, Meetings and More Meetings!

a/k/a Death by Meeting

“Football incorporates the two worst elements of American society: violence punctuated by committee meetings.”~ George Will

Have you ever calculated the cost per hour of one of your “Management” meetings?

Simple to do, take the hourly rate for each participant time the amount of time for the meeting. As Batman’s Riddler would say, “Answer me this, WAS IT WORTH THE COST????”

Chances are if you are honest, many are not. So how do you get the most out of your meetings? Here are several considerations:

1)    Name That Meeting! Make the meeting’s purpose clear.

2)    Have an Agenda, with a strict time limit for each item.

3)    Be prepared and require other’s to be prepared. One person I know said it this way “Failure to prepare is both arrogant and stupid”. That may be a bit strong, but you get the point.

4)    Avoid Rabbit trails. Keep things on topic and point.

5)    Make sure the person running the meeting keeps people accountable and on task.

6)    End on time. Overruns cost money and lost production. If you are not through at the apponted time, end and take up the next agenda points at the next meeting.

You can also have different meeting styles. Consider stand up meetings for a quick operational review to start the week. Standing helps bring the meeting to a quicker conclusion. Have effective materials for training meetings and consider off site lopcations.

The time of the meeting (morning, lunch, or end of day) can also impact the effectiveness and interaction of the group. Morning meetings can be effective and try to avoid meetings on a Friday afternoon for a number of reasons.

A)    You want people focused on the meeting agenda, not starting the weekend, so avoid Friday afternoons

B)    Lunch meetings can reduce the impact on productivity and most eat lunch anyway

C)    Morning meetings can help start the day and if started early can lessen the impact on the other work of the day

Once started, meetings take on a life of their own. So start them only with a specific purpose and a limited life if possible. Don’t meet yourself to death!

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