Run More Frequent, Shorter Meetings

Every day in corporate America there are roughly 71 million meetings taking place. It is estimated that time spent in meetings costs approximately $550 billion each year. That is of course if you assume that all time spent in meetings is time wasted.

In truth, there are good meetings and bad meetings. Some may argue that all meetings are bad meetings, but maybe that’s just because your experience has all been bad.

If you want to improve the quality of meetings in your company, I recommend running them more frequently, and making them much shorter.

Elements of a good meeting:

  1. Limited      number of attendees – only those with direct input to contribute should be      involved, one person from each department who can relay the messages back      to their team is fine.
  2. Clear      agenda that every attendee has seen before they get there – don’t waste      time getting people up to speed.
  3. Review      of actions from the last meeting – make sure that progress is moving      forward on or ahead of schedule.
  4. Set clear      actions to be taken between now and the next meeting – make sure everyone      knows what is expected by the next time you meet.
  5. No more      than 30 minutes – after 30 minutes you will lose people’s interest, 15 is      even better.

Everyone there should participate. If a question comes up, each person should get a chance to provide input or solutions. If there is disagreement among the group, make a decision before you end the meeting. If more time is needed, set a follow up meeting with the two people championing opposing views and one mediator who is qualified to make a final decision.

And always end on time!

For more meeting tips, check out my series on how to run a better meeting: who should attend, what should be covered, and how it should be run.