Archive | October 2014

Meetings Are Toxic

I have just read an interesting book called ‘Rework’ by Jason Fried & David Heinemeir Hansson. The contents page itself makes interesting reading with chapter headings like :

‘Ignore the real world’
‘Learning from mistakes is overrated’
‘Planning is guessing’
‘No time is no excuse’;
‘Meeting are toxic’

While I might not agree with everything they say, they certainly challenge your thinking and what we might consider the ‘status quo’.

Under ‘Meetings are toxic’ the question really is why do we have them and more importantly why do you go to so many? As a Head I went to many meetings lasting many hours – how productively was I spending my time? I wasn’t. They are not saying that all meetings are a waste of time, but that you have got to choose wisely & make sure that the meetings you go to have a clear purpose. They talk about meetings being the worst interruption of all and here’s why:

They’re usually about words & abstract concepts not real things.

They usually convey an abysmally small amount of information per minute.

They easily drift off subject.

They require thorough preparation that most people don’t have time for.

They frequently have agendas that are so vague that nobody is really sure of the goal.

Meetings procreate. One meeting leads to another, which leads to another, which ┬áleads to …….

Are you planning to go to any meetings like this? ┬áMaybe it’s time to question the meetings you go to, or the ones you call & lead. What interruptions have you got planned for this week!