Monday, 5 November 2007


I know that networking, listening, storytelling and engaging together are some of the keys to the future and that we need to work to find more time within our busy lives to do this and do it well.

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.


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