Meetings - The Death of American Productivity


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This is converted from an Ignite Presentation that I gave in Indianapolis. It was fun event, so I wanted to explain why meetings suck, how to avoid meetings and - if you have to hold meetings - how to do them effectively.

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Meetings - The Death of American Productivity

  1. 1. Meetings
  2. 2. Everyone Hates Meetings Meetings may be the most overused andabused strategy utilizedby corporate America.Everyone I meet hates meetings. Everyone…
  3. 3. Yea… how’s that been working for us?There are Exceptions
  4. 4. It was most likely a meeting that led to the Meetings Colts decision to not attempt the perfectGenerate Bad season. Decisions Yeah… That Worked.
  5. 5. Meetings Drive Consensus And with consensus, you’re going to agree to the lowest common denominator, the average solution, or you’ll simply fail together. Good Luck.
  6. 6. Your Idea, My Credit Leaders with noideas love meetingswhere they can get new ideas. And get credit for them.
  7. 7. Meetings are ExpensiveA meeting lasting 1 hour per week x 8 people x$50,000 average salary = $10,000/yr spent on the meeting.How many customers is that?
  8. 8. Meetings Hurt Employees You hired youremployee because oftheir education, talent, drive and enthusiasm. Making decisions in meetings that they should make undermines their authority. They will quit.
  9. 9. Work Meetings You have meetings asking your employees why they are unable to get their work completed on time. Think about it…
  10. 10. More process… More approvals… More meetings… Fail.Meetings Add Unnecessary Hurdles
  11. 11. How to Avoid Meetings Stop Accepting Meeting Invites. No agenda? Decline. No goal? Decline. No action plan? Decline.
  12. 12. Ask to skip the meeting. Don’t show up. Call in sick.Take a vacation day. EscapeHave an emergency.
  13. 13. GetInterrupted Take an “Emergency Phone Call”. Say it’s an important client.
  14. 14. Schedule ConflictsAccept two meetings at the same time. Schedule client calls during unnecessary meetings.
  15. 15. How Meetings Should be Run
  16. 16. TimeSchedule Meetings in 15 minute increments.Remove the chairs from the meeting room.Assign someone tokeep you on time and on target.
  17. 17. Start every meetingverifying the action plan that was agreed upon last meeting is done. Discipline slackers.End every meeting with an Action Plan:What is getting done? Who is doing it?When do they agree to have it done by?
  18. 18. Less is MoreSchedule meetingswhen needed, not with a specific periodicity. Invite the leastamount of people possible.Schedule the least time possible.
  19. 19. Assignments forEvery Meeting: Timekeeper Job is to keepthings on time. Gatekeeper Job is to keepthings on topic. ScribeJob is to takenotes and the action plan.
  20. 20. Always Bring Donuts and Coffee If you’re going to make your employees do something they hate, at least make them happy and keep them awake.
  21. 21. Douglas Karr @douglaskarrhttp://marketingtechblog.comhttp://www.dknewmedia.comInspired by the many useless meetings I’ve attended, also inspired by Linchpin (Seth Godin), Rework (Jason Fried) and the Four Hour Work Week (Timothy Ferriss). Hurdle image from the Fail Blog (