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It’s been a month since you’ve settled on your New Year’s resolutions.  How’s that working out for you?

Here’s one worthy change in your routine that might have missed your list — but it is easy to learn, easy to implement, amazing in what it will do for your life at work.  Address head on, the dread that you have for going into work.

First you have to acknowledge that your workplace has become a place where you can’t get any work done:

 

Only after this realization, can you take up the Modern Meeting Manifesto and take aim at the crippling reasons for death by meeting that we all experience working with others in the work environment of today.  This past year, I was fortunate enough to read the short but powerful book by Al Pitampalli — Modern day warrior against the machine.

Al Pitampali - Modern Meeting Standard

Like Jason Fried, Al has taken the risk of prescribing some radical things that our current workplace environments don’t accept too easily.  But if you can embrace just a couple of the prescriptions that Al provides in his book, The Modern Meeting Standard, your 2013 will be dramatically different in nature.

So go ahead, take a quick read and then dare to make a difference in order to get off of the hamster wheel you are stuck in.  If you’re smart you’ll follow the 7 principles of the Modern Meeting Manifesto:

  1. Meet only to support a decision that has already been made.  Meetings aren’t for making decisions by committee.
  2. Move fast. End on schedule. Force yourself to hold brief meetings.  Once you do this, you’ll force yourself to *not* waste time and get to the point.
  3. Limit the number of attendees. To many meetings are simply informational for various participants.  Quit it.  Only gather people who can refute, confirm or change the decision being presented.
  4. Reject the unprepared.  Send out agendas prior to the meeting period.  No agenda, cancel the meeting.
  5. Produce committed action plans.  Hold people accountable.  Don’t just say the group will do things.
  6. Refuse to be informational. Read the memo, it’s mandatory.  Meeting leaders must do their work before the meeting.  Participants must do their work before the meeting.
  7. Work with brainstorms, not against them.  Brainstorms are one reason to bring several people into the same room together.  Embrace it.

One of the big items all of this points to is that meetings are expensive.  They interrupt a lot of co-workers from doing uninterrupted productive work.  And the combined cost to bring all those people into a single room is crazy expensive.  Meetings can be short.  Meetings can have less people.  Meetings can produce more results and momentum.  Only if you convene meetings only when necessary.

What is stopping you from just canceling the next recurring meeting that you lead?  What consequences would there be if you really did NOT hold it this week?