Before you run off to your next meeting, next conference, or next slumber party be very careful to how you spend the time because you might be going as a habit or activity to look busy rather than help your organization reach a quantifiable result.
Are you are going because of habit…
Or do you have specific objectives to accomplish?
If you chose specific objectives to accomplish then this post will help you get more out of your meetings and help you say no especially if they don’t contribute to the bottom line.
Are meetings still worth it?
In Verne Harnish’s book Rockafeller Habits, he say’s that…
At the heart of executive team performance is a rhythm of tightly run daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual huddles and meetings – all which happen as scheduled, without fail, with specific agendas.
In Jon Petz’s book Boring Meetings Suck, he shares many ways how to get more out of meetings or get out of more meetings.
Jason Fried during his TedX talk says that meetings hurt organizations because they are distracting to employees that are focused on work.
In my opinion most meetings are not run effectively because there isn’t an outcome oriented agenda. In other words, there is a list of decisions that need to be made as quickly as possible so upon completion we can go back to working on our own highest work priorities.
Instead, there are announcements made, time slots for discussions, and explanation could have taken place prior to the meetings. For example I remember a committee meeting where we spent more time discussing dessert options more than how to get more people to attend.
You know when you are in a result oriented meeting when the leader helps the groups make decisions quickly and they go by super fast. When you sit in verbal ping pong of dialogue that’s when the efficiency of meetings starts to take a dive.
What is the true cost of a meeting?
True cost of meeting =
# of staff (hourly wage x hours involved + transportation) + # of members (hourly wage x hours involved + transportation) + facility + opportunity cost of doing same work
For example = 3 staff ($20/hr x 3 hours + 0 transportation costs + 10 customers ($50/hour x 3 hours + $25 x 10 gas reimbursement + 0 for facility + ($150 x 10) opportunity costs = more than you anticipated.
After your next meeting ask yourself whether it helped you achieve a quantifiable outcome and calculate how much money the meeting cost your organization.
How do you keep others accountable following meetings?
Ask them to write a quick summary of the meeting and what each person’s next steps are. In other words, attendees tell you what they are going to do after the meeting, rather than just going back to work. The more transparent you can make other’s summary the more likely they will contribute useful feedback.
Watch Jason Fried’s video on how meetings prevent work from happening.