Eli Stein cartoon, reprinted with permission
Scott Kirsner's round-up today on how people feel about meetings - and what they do about it - is "likely" to be one of the most "liked" articles in modern Boston Globism.
Some gems: take away the chairs; account for the time it takes for going from one meeting to another (i.e. advance the clock 10 minutes); keep it small; use a speaker's baton (he says pass a tennis ball; this is an old facilitation trick where only the person holding the sacred item gets to speak); HAVE A PURPOSE (duh); skip PowerPoint (I've done a couple of posts on this in particular); use graphic support (write ideas on whiteboards and take pictures of them); skip meetings for a whole day entirely (this is really popular but, alas, whenever I bring this up in workshops that cover this topic, we learn that it rarely works as people always find a way to drift back to meeting for some earthshakingly important purpose); and, what only the boss can get away with, come to the meeting rudely late (Red Sox owner John Henry's approach). As Kirsner says, "I disavow responsibility if Henry’s strategy renders you suddenly unemployed."
Next time, Scott, tackle virtual meetings... It would be interesting to get the stats on how the scale has tipped from face-to-face to conference calls of late. Many of these ideas can apply there too. Plus there's a very long piece you can do on how to confront multitasking.
Good piece. Read it; you'll nod a lot.