“A meeting is an event at which the minutes are kept
and the hours are lost.”
The roads and traffic will see a major increase in traffic this week as society moves into ‘Back to school’ mode.
And with it for many, will come an increasing squeeze on their time.
Last week’s post about The Power Of An Hour seemed to strike a chord for many and this week’s post targets the same area.
I recall observing one of my clients (a smart, experienced successful leader) in a meeting with some of his team. He’d asked me to sit in on a meeting to observe the culture in action and afterwards give some feedback to himself and the team.
There were 22 people present for a 90 minute meeting.
This was a cutting edge tech company so everyone was on some form of mobile device and it seemed to be accepted as the done thing.
At the end of the meeting I was introduced and I asked several questions to the group:
– Who had been fully present for the meeting, and hadn’t used tech to do something else while in the room (email, project work, messaging etc)?
Out of everyone there, including my client, no-one was fully mentally present. So we had 22 people in a room for 90 mins and no-one was fully mentally present. That’s a lot of productivity flushed down the loo.
– What’s the purpose of the meeting?
We uncovered four different ones but then my client told everyone what the real purpose was. That’s a lot of confusion created before anyone opens their mouths.
– Based on the clarified purpose, who needed to be at the meeting?
Out of 22 people, only 5 needed to be there! Again a lot of wasted time.
My client asked the other 17 people to leave the room and we stayed to have the actual meeting!
Guess how long that took?
Only 20 minutes.
Like most things, the 80/20 rule applies to your meetings and I believe that 80% of meetings are a waste of time.
A waste because of:
- You letting people meet you for their agenda/goals and not your own
- Lack of clarity on the purpose and the agenda
- The wrong people being present or the right ones not
- Unfocused minds in the meeting
In my experience, no-one and no organisation is immune to ‘Meeting Addiction’.
As we move into September, it’s usually a time for people to bring change into their work and lives.
If you’re looking for low-hanging fruit, consider your meeting addiction and consider what you can do about it.
PS – If you’d like to up your productivity game across the board, consider my TimeShift program starting in September. It’s a brilliant way to reset, and raise your game for the final months of the year. Full details can be found here.