Monday, June 1, 2015

Not Every Meeting Needs To Be A Meeting

Many organizations suffer from meeting-itis: poorly-run and inefficient meetings that go on too long, happen too often and include more attendees than need to be there. No one likes long meetings or too many meetings for that matter. Not every meeting needs to be a meeting.

Business blog Harvard Business Review knows a thing or two about unnecessary meetings. While meetings feel productive because everyone’s in the same room talking about the project, they inherently get in the way of actually doing anything. So, HBR suggests, before you call for a meeting, ask these questions:

Have I thought through this situation?
Do I need outside input to make progress
Does moving forward require a real-time conversation?
Does this necessitate a face-to-face meeting?

If you answer “No” to any of these questions, then a different course of action could be taken first. An online chat can help you answer questions quickly, or for more in-depth conversations, scheduling a phone call or video conference can work well.

Every day, we allow our coworkers, who are otherwise very, very nice people, to steal from us. I'm talking about time. Your time. Your time and that of your organization is valuable. Some say time is more valuable than money. Time can't be saved. It can only be spent! We spend it at the exact rate of one minute per minute. We can’t spend more or less no matter how hard we try. We can’t spend more than 5 minutes in five minutes, and we can’t spend less than 5 minutes in five minutes. Our rate of spending is fixed. All we can control is where we choose to invest our time.

Meetings are a useful tool when they’re actually necessary, but if you’re just going to waste an hour talking about things you could easily answer on your own or with an instant message, your productivity comes out at a net loss.

One of the biggest challenges to meeting effectiveness is we are essentially creatures of habit. We do things this way because we have always done things this way – status quo. In a Lean environment we need to learn to “see” the wastes in our business including how we conduct business like meetings and find better ways to do these activities.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Tim

    Meetings need to be limited to dealing with essential things only, status reporting can be far more easily handled using A3 reports, and thus will not waste time which is by far the most limited resource in the world.