Costly meetings

2015-02-24

How often do we sit in a meeting and wonder what we are doing there? The agenda is not relevant, people talk over each other and everyone strays from the point. Do you recognise this situation? Kinnarps offers tips on smart ways to achieve a better meeting culture.

Ineffective meetings can ruin an entire day at work. Not to mention the cost to the company! The greatest mistake when it comes to meetings is that too much time is given to them as a matter of course. Imagine eight people sitting around a conference table wasting an hour to discuss an issue that could have been dealt with in 10 minutes... There is a reason why TED talks are only 18 minutes long. This is roughly how long we can keep our concentration. A good ground rule is to have meetings standing up. This way there is no issue with the meeting being too long. Another issue to look at is the actual opening of the meeting. Make sure to inform all involved of the reason for the meeting and how much time is allowed for each point up for discussion. Set clear deadlines. And finally: Stop the meeting when the set time is up, even if the ongoing discussion is interesting. It may sound tough, but it is not always wrong to let people go away and think for themselves. This will make people more motivated and prepared for the next meeting.