May 08 2012

If You Made Meetings Optional, Would Anyone Attend?

In a recent Forbes article, Christopher Frank estimated the weekly cost of meetings for a 10-person team to be just under $24,000.  He assumed 2-3 days worth of meeting s a week, which sounds about average to me.   Is anyone surprised then that productivity rates for the first quarter of 2012 have declined?


Jan 25 2012

Conference Calls- Do Them Right or Not at All

Conference calls are the Rodney Dangerfield of meetings.  They get no respect. Let’s face it, meetings are bad enough, but without the ability to socialize a little, they can turn into nothing more than background music.  Since more and more people are working remotely or from home, the conference call is quickly becoming the preferred method for conducting a meeting.  To avoid having your attendees put you on mute and play words with friends, make sure you…..

Sep 16 2011

Five Ways to More Effective Meetings

In my former life at a Fortune 100 company, meetings were a way of life. The company ostensibly sold financial  services, but what they did best was bring meetings to an art form.  As a manager there, it was not uncommon to have 30 hours of meetings in a typical 50-hour workweek.  If you wanted to do actual work, you had to do it at home. Coming in early or late sometimes worked, but the “brown nosers” would mirror your workday to look good and you’d never be alone.

There is a great talk on the TED website by Jonathan Fried called “Why work doesn’t happen at work”.  If you have 15 minutes, it’s well worth the time.  He basically blames the inability to get work done at work on what he calls M & M-Managers and Meetings. I don’t disagree with him and I like some of his suggestions like “No talk Thursdays”, but there are ways to have meaningful, effective meetings.  Here’s how: