A colleague challenged me about all the meetings last week and to be honest, meetings are the bane of my life. I am in more meetings than most and when I add up all the hours we spend in irrelevant and increasingly unfocused and repetitive talking shops I know that we can do better. I would like to suggest that we should apply some rules to cut down on our meetings, especially those which waste time and achieve very little.
- Limit meeting times to an hour at most.
- Keep meetings small and ensure that only people who need to be at the meetings attend.
- Keep meetings focused on impact and outcomes.
- Engage everyone by briefly celebrating relevant achievements and successes at the start of the meeting.
- Keep meetings urgent, pacey and purposeful.
- Ensure that information items are dealt with through InfoBase and other communication media.
- Ensure that all papers have single page summaries with a clear action and next steps section. Focus on the summary in the meeting.
- Check with the people who attend that the meeting has been worthwhile and made a difference.
- Check at the end of every meeting what you have agreed to do and who is going to do it.