August 29, 2006
It’s time to take a fresh look at meetings. You know, those gatherings that happen all day long in our organizations. People head to a conference room, sit around a table for anywhere between a few minutes to a few hours and attempt to share knowledge, collaborate or move a project along. Let me make a passionate plea for us to reconsider the culture and design of our meetings.
More Meetings than Classes
In most organizations, employees spend 10 to 100 times more hours in meetings than they do in classes (in person or online). Companies will spend dozens of hours designing a one-hour class that 50 employees might attend, yet minimal design time and effort might go into a series of staff meetings held around the country.
If we were to calculate the wage cost of our meetings, we would be rushed to the emergency room with cardiac arrest. If you are in decent health, do a quick spreadsheet of just one department of your organization. Ask employees how many hours per month they spend in meetings. Multiply that by 12 months and then by the average wage cost: You will be astounded at the wage cost of meetings.
Most employees carry a low set of expectations about an upcoming meeting:
We have developed a number of re-design elements and new “rituals” for meetings that you might want to consider:
Elliott Masie is the CEO of The MASIE Center’s Learning Consortium. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.