I have always hated attending company meetings. They are such a colossal waste of time! Meetings provide endless interruptions to the flow of the day. No one likes them and nothing ever gets done because of them. At best a compromise is made and then it may or may not be acted upon. Finally someone agrees with me…
Earlier today I attended the webinar “Embrace Change with Modern Meetings” featuring Al Pittampalli author of “Read this Before Our Next Meeting” and best-selling author Seth Godin. The webinar covered how is critical to change the way meetings are being held and create a “Modern Meeting.”
- As a leader you make careful, responsible decisions. Usually one person should be responsible for a decision.
- Make the decision ahead of time and then have a meeting about if the meeting is needed, as a last resort. Meetings are to support decisions not questions.
- It is always better to make the wrong decision than not to make one at all.
- Often a conversation can replace a meeting. Start a conversation with someone about the item you want to cover, not about sports or the weather.
- Limit the number of people who are invited to a meeting to those that are absolutely necessary to create the desired results.
- Meetings should not be about providing information. Send emails and memos of important information in advance. Have an agenda and make sure attendees are prepared. There is a sample agenda at ModernMeetingStandard.com/Resources. If someone is not prepared or late, cancel the meeting or send them home.
- Meetings should be fast and produce actions. What is the action plan, who is assigned to each action item, when will they be complete.
- Do not use broadcast emails. If you do an email, bcc everyone so that when they respond it is not sent to everyone in the main email. (Hopefully someday the broadcast email will die off too!)
- Debate the decision at the meeting. if you are not willing to alter your decision, don’t have a meeting.
- Meetings should only cover conflict and coordination. Complicated projects should use the meeting to confirm that the team is working well together.
- Meetings should never be held as an emergency, they should be planned and scheduled.
- Occasionally hold brainstorming sessions that are fun, active, timed and all written down to support the Modern Meeting.
No more attending too many bad meetings for a living! By changing this one aspect of business we can change how projects get organized, how businesses make decisions on projects and how they get completed. By having fewer meetings it frees up time to actually get the work done and ultimately saves the business money.
In my business I focus on small group mettings or one-to-one meetings. I mainly use email and phone conversations, scheduling personal meetings as needed. I find this beneficial, as it is a more personal way of communicating with my customers. As business becomes global, it is only natural to change the ways of conducting business.
This was an amazing webinar about an equally amazing manifesto and topic. Finally there is a shift in how business is being done and it is being led by talented people like Seth Godin and Al Pittampalli. I’m sure they have many more new ways of conducting business coming in the future. I for one, can’t wait.
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