August 4, 2014
Let’s book a meeting. Let’s talk about it on the conference call. Let’s reconvene at next week’s meeting. Let’s discuss the next time we have a team call. Here’s a thought, let’s figure out why we have so many meetings and calls in the first place.
I have a colleague who attends an all-day full team status meeting once a week. Once a week?! Full day!?! I am a huge supporter of collaboration and teamwork. It’s critical that your company is strong inside before it can be strong outside, but an entire day in a meeting? I challenge there could be a better way.
Do you know why you are attending your meetings today?
Has the reason for each been clearly articulated? Is there an obvious summary of desired outcomes? Will a decision be made on who does what by when? Will the call start and end on time? Do you know why you’re in the meeting at all?
I work with a guy who never has a phone call last more than 10 minutes. We get a ton accomplished in that time and move on. If we realize we've missed something or an item needs more clarification, we get back on the phone. Each of us has our agenda ready, action items listed, and we get to work.
Try this for a week
Cut the time allotted for each meeting and conference call by 50%. Then in a few weeks, cut them in half again. So the one-hour session you have this afternoon would become 15 minutes. You may claim that’s impossible. Have you tried it?
More meetings do not mean more efficiency or alignment. In a matter of a few short weeks, you will realize you are giving everyone more time to think and create rather than prepare and attend meetings and calls. You will see more collaboration, more impromptu discussions, and more ideas being shared.
Or you could stop reading and get to you next meeting.
Kneale Mann | Leadership and management consultant helping leaders, teams, and companies get clear on their goals and results.