Is corporate America choking on meetings?
I used to be employed in a (not so big) publicly traded company many years ago and I was frequently perplexed by the amount of meetings I had to attend, and the number of meetings I saw during the day. Meetings must be important; you always need to reserve the room. More often than not, people would schedule a meeting to discuss an upcoming meeting. Generally nothing gets accomplished in those sessions.
What became increasingly apparent was, the more meetings I attended – or was asked to attend – the less productive I became. I ultimately ran screaming from the building and leaped back into the familiar arms of my ex-lover. Entrepreneurship. Yes, it has many challenges, but one thing I like to do is make decisions quickly and act on them with the same alacrity. If they’re wrong decisions, I change them. Maybe someone else changes them. That’s fine too.
Business in 2016 continues to accelerate. Sitting around for hours in a conference room or on a conference call – worse yet – is complete torture and generally will accomplish little. Even if a decision is made, implementation could take weeks, or even months. By then, you’ll probably need to coordinate another meeting. And on and on and on…
A nimble corporation is an oxymoron. I’ll wager there’s a direct correlation between the size/age of a company and the frequency of meetings in any given week. Someone must have done productivity assessments. That would be an interesting study.
One consequence of this mindless routine is opportunity. Not for the lumbering corporation however, there’s gold in them there hills for disrupters. Why? Fertile ground. What’s the quote? “Disrupt or be disrupted.”
Maybe in some small way, companies will take proactive measures and use this as a best practice. http://www.businessinsider.com/steve-jobs-meeting-techniques-2015-8
P.S. The next time a co-worker one office away sends you an email, please get up, walk 10 feet and promptly unplug their computer. And while you’re at it, smack their iPhone, or Samsung, (or whatever mobile device they’re flirting with) out of their hands.