Come on, admit most meetings suck. They aren’t particularly productive; most people amble to and from work meetings in a semi-stupor and we tend to spend way too much time in them.
When was the last meeting you got to amped up?
When was the last meeting you left feeling inspired or driven?
When was the last meeting you ran that was on subject and you nailed it?
Why Do Meetings Suck and Why Do We Suck At Meetings?
Most of us know how to schedule a meeting from Google Calendar or Outlook but usually that’s where we start to cock things up:
Stop using vague titles.
Where is the agenda?
Do all those people really need to come to this meeting? All the wrong people in all the wrong places.
Do you fear attachments? Don’t worry, link to the relevant documents in your company cloud.
Timing is everything. Not just when in the day but how long. Most meetings can get to done in 30 minutes. Some need an hour. Very few need more than this and those need a break in the middle.
The fact is we suck at meetings because running a productive meeting is a skill. A skill that requires continuous improvement. We dump people in the workplace and expect them to know how to run a meeting and deliver results.
Most people don’t really understand the point of a meeting or how to run one.
What’s the Point of It All?
Understanding this one thing about meetings.
Screengrab from the 1991 Castle Rock Entertainment movie, City Slickers via YouTube.
MEETINGS ARE TO TACKLE A PROBLEM WITH WHOEVER IS NEEDED TO GET TO THE SOLUTION.
Solution means decisions. Decisions mean action items. A meeting with no decisions is a waste of time. What did you solve?
The Warptest POV
You attacked the problem and engaged people in the meeting. You made sure everyone got to speak and was heard. Now write down every decision and treat it as an action item.
After the meeting, you share a summary where these action items are assigned to specific people with deadlines. Without this, meetings suck and will continue to suck.
All your calendar and appointment apps are great at setting meetings, but then the reminder just disappears without asking you to follow up. Certainly, none of them integrate an action driven follow-up.
In an age of Siri, Cortana, Google Now why aren’t these Digital Assistants integrated with your meetings to record meetings? Why aren’t they asking you to follow up? Why isn’t text-to-speech built in, so you can run the meeting without the distraction of taking notes?
Microsoft has already enabled Cortana integration with Office 365. This is the start. At Build 2017 they announced the preview of Cortana Skills to solve this kind of problem. Alternatively, you can add their new Dictate service to your Office 365 to allow Word to convert what’s said in the meeting to text.
WHAT WE ALL REALLY WANT ARE READY-BAKED APPS THAT TAKE THE MEETING FROM INCEPTION, THRU SCHEDULING ALL THE WAY TO ACTION ITEMS.
Game on Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook.