Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Those of you who know me well know that I don't like meetings...

Meetings are one of the biggest institutional time wasters. Someone told me recently that on an average day in the UK, there are around 5 million meetings. I don't know how they worked that out, but if it is true it makes you wonder how anything ever gets done!

It helps if you work out the cost of the meetings you attend. A person earning £20,000 per year represents an hourly salary cost to the organization of around £15. If ten people at this salary level meet for a one hour meeting, the cost of the meeting is £150. Meetings are important and often essential elements of our work so the real question is how are we going to improve the productivity of our meetings. We must constantly look at what was accomplished in our meetings and ask ourselves if it was worth it? I know that the answer is sometimes "yes" but a lot of the time the answer is "no".

1. Some questions to ask about each of the meetings you attend
  • Is it necessary?
  • What would happen if it did not take place?
  • What if we did not meet quite so often?
  • How about if we met once a month instead of every week?

2. Ask yourself these questions about each of the meetings you attend

  • Am I necessary at the meeting?
  • Do I get anything out of the meeting?
  • Do I contribute anything to the meeting?"
If the answers to these questions is "no", try to avoid attending the meeting.


Anonymous said...

Hear hear!
Can I suggest that this post becomes required reading for everyone in Education Leeds and schools. A global memo with these guidelines wouldn't go amiss either.

Chris'Blog said...

Thanks for this comment...the world would be a better place if we could only cut down on the meetings.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,

Re meetings. I think we suffer from terrible meeting sloppiness. I get very frustrated by the proliferation of meetings one is called to which are poorly led, a total lack of preparation by convenor and / or participants, no clear idea of what outcome is wanted, people arriving late or leaving early. We may need fewer meetings but we also need BETTER, TIGHTER meetings, with MORE time preparing what is to be put in to ensure purposeful interaction and good decisions that move us forward.