The cult of business meetings should disappear

Original author: Carson Tate
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At our meeting today, we will discuss our top ten priority tasks.

I'm not sure why we decided to get together, but let's meet anyway.

Sorry, I was late, my first meeting was delayed. Could you remind me of the topic that we are discussing?

I hear that every day. (I know that you too.) I hear these phrases SO often that I no longer pay attention to how incredible and ironic all this is. Just think: how can you focus on the ten main tasks of paramount importance? This is the most important. This is what must be done FIRST. How do you achieve these ten tasks?

Nevertheless, we organize a meeting, patiently “sit”, listen, suffer garbage instead of focusing on the ten main issues. We sinfully throw in half a pile of nonsense dumped on us at a meeting that has no clear plan or clear goal. Participants are usually late for such meetings or run away prematurely. As a result, we have terrible inefficiency.

It all looks weird, right?

Because we did not choose and did not want such a path of development of our business, whatever it may be.

The business meeting cult that engulfed our businesses is fundamentally corrupted. And it destroys your business’s efficiency and profitability, as exemplified by the recent removal of Bryan Stockton, CEO of Mattel (the toy maker who releases the world-famous Barbie doll), after another wave of unsuccessful holiday sales . When Stockton was asked what happened, he replied that Mattel lacked an innovative approach, and the poor organization of meetings was to blame.

So, before another week full of meetings and gatherings, how do you identify and eliminate unnecessary events? And, first of all, how to outgrow them and avoid the appearance of unnecessary meetings in the future?

Calculate the cost of each meeting

Each meeting has a very real value. This is the hourly rate of each person attending the meeting. Suppose that the hourly rate of everyone who attends your weekly office meetings is somewhere between $ 100-300. Let's choose a middle ground, $ 200, and multiply this amount by ten - the number of participants in the meetings.

Your company meetings come out to you at $ 2,000 weekly. And now imagine that you could invest these $ 2,000 in your product or enterprise service improvement. Do you really think that this investment will not return to you at least in the same amount? And now, why don’t you agree with yourself that each meeting in your organization should at least “beat off” its value, that is, the time cost of its participants?

Calculate the cost of your meetings and identify from the general list those that are unprofitable or generate too low an income.

Ask yourself the personal and professional value of each meeting.

If you want to exclude bad meetings from your calendar, first of all, question the personal and professional value of each of your meetings. Instead of automatically accepting the offer of the next meeting, stop and think about whether it will return your investment.

  • Will this meeting help you achieve your goals?
  • How does the goal of the meeting (if there is one at all!) Intersect with the strategic priorities of the company?
  • How can you contribute to this meeting?
  • Will someone notice your absence?
  • Will this meeting energize you or suck vitality?
  • Will this meeting be just a “rehash” of the last five meetings?

First of all, is attending this meeting at the moment the best and most efficient use of your time? Each time you agree to one thing, you give up something else.

Leave nothing to chance - plan your meetings

When you are considering launching a new product or service, you carefully research the market, conduct tests, and carefully plan each step from development to launch. Your meetings require the same attention. The success of any meeting depends on prior thinking and planning.

In order to increase your chances of having effective and efficient meetings, think about the answers to the following questions before planning your next meeting:

  • Why do we need to meet? If you cannot answer this question, then do not proceed to the next. You do not need to meet.
  • What is the purpose of the meeting?
  • What do I want to achieve as a result of this meeting?
  • Are there other ways to achieve the same result?
  • If the meeting is important, then what format of the meeting will be ideal for achieving its goals: a personal meeting, a virtual meeting, or a combination of both?
  • Who needs to attend the meeting?
  • What information do I need to get from those present?
  • What should those in attendance know or complete before the meeting in order for the meeting to be productive?
  • What are my expectations regarding the preparation and contribution of those present to the meeting? How do I voice them?

If you answer all these questions and act methodically in accordance with the answers you give, this will guarantee that your meeting will be focused on its real goals, and they will be achieved. You will save time and money.

Question the duration of each meeting

How often did you happen to leave the meeting to think: “This meeting would have been within 10 minutes” or even “We could have finished the meeting an HOUR ago”?

At some point, we all stop carefully thinking about the ideal duration of each meeting and become victims of the default functions in our calendars, according to which each meeting is given one hour, regardless of its goals. Cross this convention. Begin to question the duration of all the meetings that you have (or which are in the role of a passive listener).

If you are holding a meeting, then think carefully about its goals, results, and format in order to calculate the ideal duration of the meeting. If you are holding a virtual meeting in the form of a telephone conversation or video conference, then be prepared for the fact that, perhaps, you will not be able to completely capture the attention of your distant invisible colleagues engaged simultaneously in other tasks.

This means that a meeting with a length of 45 to 60 minutes is guaranteed to lead to a serious deterioration in attention and concentration. The shorter the virtual meeting, the better.

Your goal is to plan meetings as short as possible and at the same time effective in focusing the attention of the participants. Consider reducing each meeting by 15 minutes. And don’t forget about Parkinson’s law - work should take up all the time allotted for it.

What can you do now?

  • Look at your schedule for the next week and cross out at least two meetings from it. Use this time to ponder or shut down.
  • Before agreeing to attend the next meeting, the invitation to which appeared in your inbox, ask yourself if this meeting will help you achieve your goals, what your contribution might be, and whether the meeting is a “rehash” of the last five meetings.
  • Reduce all your meetings by 15 minutes.

Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

Do you find regular meetings held in your company productive?

  • 12.3% Yes, definitely 22
  • 44.9% Not always 80
  • 35.9% of meetings are a waste of time! 64
  • 6.7% I work alone, so there’s no one to hold meetings with 12

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