Wednesday 23 April 2014

Meetings Bloody Meetings

The ineffectiveness of meetings is raised with me at some point by all my mentoring clients. I can’t remember an exception in 23 years. It’s so common I mention it in my service offerings.

Are meetings, bloody meetings, a challenge at your place?

One way to create BS Free workplaces is to regularly conduct a candid audit of your meetings and their effectiveness, and then take decisive action.

The results of this 2004 survey concluded people only average 3 productive days per week. From what I observe this would be true today for most workplaces. Two days being wasted every week! 

Assuming employees have 4 weeks leave that’s 100 wasted days a year per employee! More than a quarter of the year down the drain. I suspect meetings are playing a big role in this waste of time, energy, and money.

Key factors from the 2004 survey: People spend 5.6 hours each week in meetings; 69 percent feel meetings aren't productive (U.S.: 5.5 hours; 71 percent feel meetings aren't productive).

How many productive days are your people averaging per week?

What are the stats about time spent in meetings at your place?

How valuable would your employees rate meetings you lead?

Are you trapped in meetings as this article asks?

Some suggestions for conducting your candid audit on meetings?

How many meetings are being held?

How long do they go for?

Who is calling for them?

Who is leading them?

What is their purpose?

How many meetings have agendas people have been given well in advance?

Are the outcomes of meetings and what actions are going to be taken and who by recorded?

How many people in your meetings have their phones on and refer to them during the meeting?

Does your organisation have a decision making process? If so Is it being followed? If not what will you do about it?

What would happen in your organisation if teams only met formally for 10 minutes every morning for a quick review of what’s happening and who’s doing what, and for 30 minutes on Mondays to review and agree on actions to be taken about what’s worth celebrating from last week and what could be better?

Be the difference you want to see in the world.

PS I remember with fondness watching the Meetings Bloody Meetings videos by John Cleese with my staff in the 80s! Enjoy.

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