The Efficient Organization
Meetings and More Meetings
of the most cursed (yet most required) activities in any organization
is meetings. I have not met an executive who has not complained about
their meeting overload. And more specifically, the complaint is about
attending non-productive meetings.
are and should be about real time exchange of ideas that lead to
effective decisions. But not all meetings are effective or necessary. If
meetings are poorly planned and executed, if people arrive late or
leave early, if attendees digress or come unprepared to meetings, then
meetings are counterproductive, wasting both time and money for the
make your meetings both efficient and effective, whether you arrange
them or someone else does, engage your organization in the following
eight proven techniques:
person should be in charge of arranging and facilitating the meeting.
Remember if everyone is in charge, then no one is in charge and this
causes disorganization and frustration for those involved.
meeting time appropriately, but if the agenda is long, add extra time.
It's always better to end the meeting sooner and provide "found" time
for participants than to take a meeting over time.
an agenda for each meeting. The agenda should clearly state the
purpose, objectives and goals of the meeting. If you don't know what to
put on the agenda, then you don't need a meeting.
attendee names on the agenda. Now ask yourself: are all invitees
necessary? The larger the group, the more inefficient the meeting
(effectiveness decreases and duration increases with each additional
participant). Do all attendees have something to contribute to the
meeting? If not, they don't need to come to the meeting. Instead, a
follow-up to the meeting (minutes) can be provided. Just because you're
the boss and feel you should be at the meeting, trust that your staff
will give you an update of the decisions made during the meeting. As a
leader, use your time wisely and delegate others to attend meetings on
your behalf, as appropriate.
- Stay on topic. Discourage side discussions.
people to turn off their iPhones and BlackBerrys. No one is good at
multi-tasking. If they're looking at their smartphone, they're not
paying attention to the meeting.
- Always close a meeting with an outline of decisions and actions that participants have agreed to during the meeting.
- Finish the meeting on time.
key "take away" from the above points is this: organized and well
facilitated meetings with the necessary group of attendees will save the
organization time, money, and move the organization's strategies
forward. Anything short of this is inefficient and wasteful.
Pursuit of Profit
It Ain't Cheap
you spend most of your days in meetings, but took for granted that it
was just part of your job, you're wrong. Just because meetings may
be part of the job description, some sound judgment is needed to
determine whether you should be attending each and every meeting to
which you're invited. After all, someone (the organization) needs
to pay for each and every meeting attendee. And if your meetings are not
effective or efficient, the cost is even greater.
Consider the following.
- An average meeting lasts one hour.
- An average meeting has about five participants.
- Assume that the average annual salary for each of the participants is $100,000.
cost in terms of salary for your meeting is $2,500. This does not
include unknown or hidden costs such as lost opportunity costs, i.e.,
what you or your employees may have completed if you weren't in the
consider how many such meetings occur each day in your organization
(and multiply that to get your annual count) and you get the idea of how
quickly money and productivity is blown away on unnecessary meetings.
Next time you need to convene a meeting, ask yourself if the whole department really needs to attend. And
if you're invited to a meeting, ask what contribution you are required
to make at the meeting that cannot be done outside of the meeting.
You'll be pleasantly surprised at how much time you'll gain each week
when you become very selective of which meetings to attend.
In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)
you ever turned down an invitation to an event and then felt
guilty about it? Do you remember why you felt guilty? I'm going to
guess here and say it's because your "reason" for declining was not
truthful. If you tell the truth all the time (be courteous, though) and
take 100% responsibility for all of your actions, then there
is no reason to feel guilty about anything. Ever. Victim stories and
blaming outside circumstances won't help you move
"Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses"
George Washington Carver
About MNC Consulting Group
Our goal is to help you to dramatically increase efficiencies that immediately boost your profit margins.
Profits is a monthly electronic newsletter discussing how leaders can
be more efficient and areas where organizations can save more
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