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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Positive Benefits Of An Internal Meeting


There’s a bunch written about the waste of internal meetings. Sure they are often an absolute waste of time, but if the commentary is negative, we never improve.

I am currently in an asynchronous organization. It would be a deal-breaker to all work together, as we all have widely dispersed customer obligations. We all produce results.

The only reason we choose to work together is the history and promise that we can get much better results  together.

Most mornings I have a 40 minute phone call with one of my partners. It’s a 9 o’clock break after my first two hours.

During today’s meeting, I wrote down three blog post titles, came up with improvements to six websites (only four worked), defined the next steps to two start-up projects, and synced up for a group meeting this evening. I figure I got ten hours of worthwhile new tasks (and I work REALLY fast), that I am motivated to do, because they are all much better defined than before this conversation.

Near as I can tell, he only got two blog post titles, a streamlining of a major programming effort he is developing, and he knows for sure where the cocktails will be at the end of the day.

I am now thinking we should measure and track the immediate gains that are unlocked in an internal meeting, to start to define a baseline of what a good meeting is, learn the best way to design a meeting, and determine what meetings can be canceled for terminal stupidity.

“In the loop,” “team morale” and “management updates” shouldn’t be grounds for a meeting.

An hour is a terrible thing to waste.

Whaddya say?

1 comment:

Jack Gates said...

Do you ever change your idea once you have told someone about it? Improves it, right?

The best meeting I can recall was in the middle of a 'real' meeting about a sparse budget and the need to update an entire network. A colleague popped his head into the conference room, listened for a minute or two and said "why don't you lease the equipment?" Brilliant!

We had a plan in 3 1/2 minutes and modernized the full network.

The real strength of open source is contributions by many to improve the project - this applies to leadership as well.