In an earlier post (Meeting Bane or Benefit?), I noted that having a clear meeting purpose helps limit attendee frustration and conflict. At times, cancelling a meeting may be the best way to do this! Sometimes meetings are unnecessary.
In their book Rework, the authors contend that many meetings are preventable. Before hosting a meeting, consider the following questions:
- Why am I hosting this meeting? Is it necessary?
- Does everyone on this list need to attend?
- Is there a less time-consuming way to achieve the outcomes of this meeting?
Another interesting way to view meetings is by considering ‘Meeting ROI’.[i] To calculate a meeting-return-on-investment, total the participant hours spent in a meeting and then multiply it by their average salary. For example:
Fried and Hansson provide a few other interesting meeting ideas. Take a look and see which ones look helpful for you:
- Set a timer. When it rings the meeting is over – period!
- Invite as few people as possible.
- Always have a clear agenda.
- Begin with a specific problem.
- Meet at the site of the problem instead of conference room. Point to real things and suggest real changes.
- End with a solution and make someone responsible for implementing it.
I’d love to hear of your insights about ways to make meetings effective.
[i] Fried, Jason & Hansson, David (2010). Rework. New York: Crown Publishing. P. 110.