Are Meetings Moving You Forward - Or Backwards?
Almost 3 decades in business, working with companies large and small, has given me the gift of a healthy contempt for meetings.
It's not that I think meetings are bad, per se. We need them as they allow us to bring multiple heads together to resolve a problem or move an idea forward.
The issue is that I've been in meetings where there is no defined agenda. Where the group is trying to get too much done in too little time. Where there is no defined facilitator. Where there are no clear action steps or takeaways. In other words, nothing gets done.
And worse, I've seen organizations spend hour after hour, day after day, sitting in meetings like these. Literally, from morning to evening, the senior executives spend every waking hour going from one meeting to the next, day after day.
When does the thinking that moves the organization forward take place? Nine times out of ten, it isn't in those meetings, I'm pretty sure. And if you're spending all day in meetings, then I'm pretty sure, that thinking isn't happening.
If the problem can be solved with a quick corridor chat, we don't need a meeting.
If the problem can be solved by 2 people, you don't need 5 in the meeting.
If the meeting isn't central to your specific role or the initiative doesn't materially depend on you, then you don't need to be part of the meeting.
Again, meetings are useful. Meetings do move the ball forward.
But all the time?
Look at your own schedule. How much time you spend in internal meetings, may be one of your leading indicators.