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Think about it - Are your meetings productive?

Think About It ...

A quote sometimes attributed to Dave Barry said it best: "If you had to identify, in one word, the reason the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be 'meetings.' "

What practices do you adhere to in meetings to assure they contribute to achieving the meeting's objectives as well as those attending and the organization achieving their full potential?

10 Replies

John Seiffer
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John Seiffer Advisor
Business Advisor to growing companies
That's like blaming the piano for the lousy music at a kid's recital. Meetings are an incredibly powerful tool for anybody that manages people. All agree that most managers don't know how to use the tool. Just like kids may not know how to play the piano well.

I have identified almost 20 different kinds of meetings that managers can use. But each needs to be prepared for and run differently from the others.

It's a skill set that is not adequately taught as people become managers.
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X
Entrepreneur
The reason the human race has not achieved and never will achieve its full potential is interrogative imperatives, Bruce.
Bruce Carpenter
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Bruce Carpenter Advisor
Co-founder and Principal, Harbour Bridge Ventures
John, I agree with you. Hence my reason for initiating the discussion. I have seen far too many poorly run and time wasting meetings and wished to have commenters provide some suggestions for improvements.
Gabor Nagy
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Gabor Nagy Entrepreneur
Founder / Chief architect at Skyline Robotics
It depends on the type of people you work with. Some people are "groupthinkers", so they like meetings.

Most people I know, find the very concept of being locked into a room with a group of people an unintuitive and frustrating productivity-killer.
Conversations can spark ideas, but you can not force creativity by putting people in a room. On the contrary...
That's more like an experiment with rats than a natural human communication venue.
In this age of gazillion communication applications, Dave Berry's quote rings more true than ever.
If you need to talk to someone in person, you can walk up to him/her. Everything else can be handled much more efficiently in email, IM, social media etc.
Those give you time to think ideas through, so you can flesh them out before communicating them and they give you a record, for free, so you can look things up later.

Nothing improves morale like respecting people's time!

Instead of putting people in a room and giving them a specific time window, how about communicating when we actually have something to say?
I know, what a concept!

Aiborlang Andrew Chyne
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Aiborlang Andrew Chyne Entrepreneur
Bass Guitarist at Klevoans
Meetings would be productive only if a sufficient gap is being given. This is very important. Weekly meetings are idealistic and the gap is too short. It is just a fraction of 5 or 6 days. In my personal opinion, a meeting that yield the best result needs a gap of 10 days of more. I have experienced some organizations organizing meetings which are just a waste of time and energy. Meetings are important but weekly meetings are unproductive.

Your thoughts are most welcome dear founders and co-founders.
John Seiffer
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John Seiffer Advisor
Business Advisor to growing companies
Start by figuring out what you're trying to achieve.
Then determine who should be involved.
Then determine if a meeting is a good tool to help with that. If so, what type of meeting.
Then who should be at the meeting (some meetings are just between 2 people)
Then how everyone needs to prep for it.

Sometimes these things do happen on a repetitive basis. A daily huddle meeting is a good example. Not every team benefits from this of course but many do. And like a football huddle they are frequent, short, with a specific pattern and agenda and result in focusing people's actions and accomplishments.
Victoria Cabrera
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Victoria Cabrera Entrepreneur
Marketing Coordinator at Patxi's Pizza
Here's a discussion that might be helpfulhttp://members.founderdating.com/discuss/3337/What-tools-or-processes-do-you-use-to-run-productive-meetings. Remember to always do a search before posting to save yourself time!
Aiborlang Andrew Chyne
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Aiborlang Andrew Chyne Entrepreneur
Bass Guitarist at Klevoans
The maximum the gap, the better it is for meetings to convene. This would give more time to your team members to work and come up with a concept when needed. Meetings are prone to take a lot of the employees' precious time. As per my experience, HRs and Support staff are interested in weekly meetings and if possible even a daily meeting. However, staff from the operations' department aren't interested much because history has shown the negative impact of regular and weekly meetings.

Give the maximum gap for meetings to enhance productivity.
Stephen Lynch
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Stephen Lynch Advisor
Head of Strategy & Consulting at RESULTS.com, Award Winning Author, Speaker, Strategic Planning Facilitator
Disclosure - I work for RESULTS.com , and our software is designed to help companies run more effective meetings, based on making performance visible.

Here are a couple of articles outlining some of the best practices I have observed from looking at thousands of client companies working on their goals.

Team meetings

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-run-effective-team-meeting-stephen-lynch

1 on 1 meetings

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/critical-importance-weekly-1-meetings-stephen-lynch
David Sinclair
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David Sinclair Entrepreneur
Senior Manager - ISV Sales (ISV & OEM Programs) - APAC at salesforce.com
Check out productivityfox.com.

Revolutionize and measure meetings effectiveness and outcomes.
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