Wednesday, May 11, 2005


I have a meeting today and Im dreading it. It will be a case of flogging dead horses and going over status reports that refuse to change from week to week.

Why is it that some business meetings achieve remarkable results in 30 minutes while others drone on and on without achieving anything ?

Heres my own checklist:

· Do we know why we are gathered ? 9 times out of 10, we dont. People gather to discuss a project or to review progress, but what are they actually out to accomplish? What, besides a 10-page MOM document, is the expected achievement ?

· Which brings us to the next point. Meetings are, or should be, about decisions. We can all analyze on our own the idea of gathering in one room is to pool ideas, evaluate them, and then decide on the best course of action. Decisions. That’s what makes businesses tick.

· And so, as a consequence, any meeting that is not supposed to reach a decision is likely to become pointless. Some who like the spotlight will use it as an opportunity to impress the boss and drone on and on. Others will think the whole thing a big waste of time and hold back on potentially good ideas.

· Of course you will not reach a decision in every meeting, sometimes you will decide that you do not have enough data; but the direction has to be there the goal posts must be clearly painted in big bold letters on the wall.

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