It’s a fair bet that if you ask anyone in a small to medium size enterprise, a government department or similar organisation to name the two biggest hindrances to productivity, the top two issues will be managing email, and meeting schedules.
Fortunately I am not affected by a busy meeting schedule, but I sure am constantly engaged in email wars. The productivity of other members of my family, however, is most definitely affected by their meeting schedules.
This morning I came across a really great article on “increasing the value of meetings”. The article is by Jeff Weiner, the CEO at Linkedin, which is becoming an increasingly significant social media platform for people in business.
The author suggests seven ways to make meetings shorter, and more productive. The first, and most radical suggestion is to eliminate presentations. He suggests materials that would normally be part of a presentation should be emailed to participants at least 24 hours prior to the meeting, so people can familiarise themselves with the contents.
Meetings then start with five to ten minutes of silence to provide attendees with the time to refresh their memories, identify areas they would like to go deeper on, or perhaps just catch up with emails.
Other suggestions cover defining the objective of the meeting; identifying who is “driving”; defining semantics; making sure notes are taken; summarising items to be actioned, deliverables, and points of accountability; and asking what can be done better.
It’s well worth reading the full article, which can be found here.