Friday, April 8, 2011

Lean Quote: Common Complaints About Meetings

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"A manager spending more than 25 percent of time in meetings is a sign of malorganization." — Peter Drucker

Some of the most common complaints about meetings as well as some of the major reasons for their costliness revolve around the meeting process itself - it is a process, after all, one that can be examined and improved. Below are some common complaints about meetings:

  • Leader too conciliatory
  •  My presence not needed
  • Held just because it's the usual time
  • No advance notice: could not prepare
  • Too long
  • Side conversations going on
  • Too many people
  • Purpose of meeting not clear
  • Too much on agenda
  • No visuals
  • Women always assigned to take notes
  • Leader had predetermined solution
  • Room too hot or too cold
  • Trivial matters discussed: irrelevant digressions
  • No priority regarding how to spend time
  • Leader defensive
  • No tangible outcome
  • Not everyone was committed
  • No time for brainstorming
  • Don't know other participants: no introductions
  • Leader read to us (from visuals or from materials)

If complaints can be identified and reduced or eliminated, then it naturally follows that your meetings will be less costly.  A successful and efficiently conducted meeting can produce measurable, as well as immeasurable, savings in terms of improved morale and motivation.  The goal of all meetings is to ensure that all who attend feel their time is well spent.


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