Tuesday, 15 January 2019


John has been told by one of his team, Harry that Harry and the others spend 10 hours of their 40 hour week in meetings. John doesn’t know what is being discussed in the meetings or why they take so long.

John is curious: Do they say the same thing in every meeting (which suggest the team need someone to constantly repeat the same message before anything gets done.)

Or maybe they say a different thing in every meeting (which suggest that everything is changing all the time and people are confused and always debating and discussing the future rather than implementing it.)

What needs to change? Is the problem the meetings, attendance, agenda or participation?

Sam always circulates a report of key facts and figures, proposals, plans and price at least 3 days before any meeting so everyone has a chance to read and think about what needs to be discussed in the meeting. The agendas are clear and the minutes record only what was agreed and the key actions.

If someone wants to add something to the agenda they need to let Sam know in advance, otherwise it is rolled into the next meeting. The other thing Sam is careful to do is ensure at each meeting people have completed their tasks from the previous meeting. Sam is quick to thank people for doing good work, but not reluctant to say when someone has failed to do what was agreed.

Sam is also firm about the agenda and the time. If someone rambles on they simply cut it short, get them to explain their idea in writing and schedule it for discussion at a future meeting when the idea is clear and people have had the time to read and think about it.

Is the structure likely to make these meetings more or less productive?

I am a fan of short stories because they are easier to follow than theory and if it is too long you won’t read and won’t remember. If you would like to share your ideas or experience get in contact and I’ll buy you a coffee.

Tim Rogers

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