There is nothing worse than coming to a meeting that could of been handled via email. So much time is wasted at meetings and this time equals money. One hour wasted for a group of 10 people that are each billed out as $100 an hour is a $1000 wasted. Imagine if that’s a weekly meeting? There is so much time and money wasted at meetings it makes me want to pull my hair out.
Having said that, I have had the opportunity to be a part of some really cool initiatives to improve meetings by making them more efficient.
Here is an overview of my tips:
1. Have an agenda – Nothing is worse than not having a set schedule. This helps keeps the meeting flowing.
2. Time each item in the agenda – This helps your meeting run on time. Do not spend the entire time on 1 of 5 items. Move on! Especially if that one item only affects 1 of 10 people at the meeting. Tell that 1 or 2 people to meet another time to discuss.
3. Facilitate – Just having an agenda and time will help you facilitate. Make sure everyone can be heard not just the one person that keeps asking questions to take you off topic. You are the facilitator should keep the agenda moving.
4. No recurring meeting – Have meetings when you actually need to have a meeting. Otherwise its a waste of time. So do not have a weekly meeting or monthly meeting. Have a meeting when you actually need to.
5. Don’t have a meeting to plan more meetings – Use a calendar. Don’t have a meeting to schedule more.
6. Use email and other tech – Have a meeting when you need to have a meeting. Use email or talk 1 on 1 when you can. Use video technologies like Skype, Zoom, etc. to avoid having people waste time traveling.
7. Stand up – Get rid of chairs. This ensures people will make the meeting fast. This gets rid of those all day meetings that waste everyone’s time. Yea maybe it’s extreme but I love the idea! It ensures that your meeting is fast. People do not want to stand for an hour. That one hour meeting can be cut significantly…though I don’t have data to back that up as there are studies comparing it. But I would so love to see those studies and help them create a solid methodology.
Anyway, here is the video: