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Gary Thornock's Weblog » It takes a darn good meeting
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3rd Mar, 2006

It takes a darn good meeting


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I read a post from Blake Snow today on the importance of not having meetings, and I was reminded of a statement I heard several years ago from an LDS area president: "It takes a darn good meeting to be better than no meeting at all." (Blake has posted about meetings at least once before, and made some excellent points then, too.)

A meeting can, in fact, be a productive and valuable exercise, if it's done right. One colleague told me several years ago about his rule for meetings: "If I invite you to a meeting, and I fail to provide you with an agenda at least 24 hours in advance, I don't expect you to waste your time coming to the meeting." Rarely have I seen meetings so well organized and productive as his were.

Unfortunately, all too often we don't do meetings right. I'm sure most people have seen some variant of the sign that says:

Are you lonely?
Do you hate having to make decisions?
Would you rather talk about it than do it?
Hold a meeting!
You can:

  • Meet other people
  • Draw org charts
  • Offload decisions
  • Feel important
  • Impress your colleagues
  • Eat donuts

All on company time!
Meetings: the practical alternative to work!

I just wish there were less truth to it.

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