You’re going to waste nearly 30 hours this month in unproductive meetings. Take a moment and look at your calendar from last month. Count all the meetings you had. I clocked in at around 56 meetings. You likely had a similar number, if not higher. In fact, the average employee attends 62 meetings a month. For C-suite level leaders, that number is even larger. Employees consider half of all meetings they attend a waste of time. That loss of time translates into a loss of work, which in turn means a loss in productivity. Last year, a total of $37 billion in lost revenue was attributed to wasteful meetings. So why not just get rid of meetings entirely? There are copious amounts of articles and blogs that champion this way of thinking. In today’s fast-paced business world, every minute and every dollar count. Every meeting removed is additional hours freed up for serious productivity. The rapid pace of technological change in the office has certainly made some meetings obsolete. Although it has improved the speed and agility of organizations, it is not a cure-all.
Meetings remain vital components in all industries to achieve impactful outcomes. Truly great leaders understand the importance of personal interactions and take the time to acknowledge the fewest, most important actions that must be taken to move their organization forward. The answer to this way forward is not to eliminate all meetings, but to design ones that are more efficient. Parkinson’s Law states that humans will fill up the full amount of time that is allotted to them to complete work. So if you schedule a 30-minute meeting, you will spend the entirety of those 30 minutes, even if half of it isn’t work-related. In order to properly design and lead a productive meeting, you need the right tools.
MeetingPRIMES.com is a free, interactive website that shares these types of tools and methods that will help put an end to unproductive meetings. The website provides users with straightforward tutorials on how to engage, motivate, and lead others in meetings using powerful, proven techniques. MeetingPRIMES is an intuitive means for any audience, from C-suite executives, to mid-level managers, to the next generation of rising leaders, to organize and execute a successful meeting. Team members from The Clearing and Safe Harbor Consulting gathered their decades of experience in meeting facilitation and design to inform this tool. In addition to easy-to-use universal tips and cautions, MeetingPRIMES identifies four unique meeting types that are seen across all organizations.
INFORM – Sharing information via email or memo is not always the most effective method, especially when leaders want to engage employees in a productive conversation on the topic being shared. MeetingPRIMES walks leaders through the necessary steps to design a meeting that informs an audience on a current or future issue, event, or exercise.
EDUCATE – A training session conveys a singular method or way to do something to an audience. An EDUCATE meeting differs from a normal training session in that it allows participants to generate new and novel ways possibilities and opportunities. MeetingPRIMES allows a leader to develop this type of meeting to drive participants to action based on the information that emerges.
BRAINSTORM – If one person is responsible for generating all the ideas, those ideas will very quickly became repetitive and stale. This is often how organizations get stuck in the status quo. More choices, voices, and viewpoints will often lead to better decisions. A BRAINSTORM meeting allows leaders to leverage the collective wisdom of their employees to develop powerful, viable outcomes. MeetingPRIMES has created a unique design that leaders can follow to organize a BRAINSTORM meeting to reach breakthrough opportunities.
DECIDE – Have you considered all the known constraints and criteria before you make a decision? If not, you may want to organize a DECIDE meeting to lean on the knowledge and wisdom of your peers. This will help you to consider all the available data, narrow down your options and make an informed choice. MeetingPRIMES outfits leaders with the steps needed to reach a consensus and commit to creating a new reality based on the decision.
There is an old saying that goes “A meeting is an event at which the minutes are kept and the hours are lost.” This does not have to be the case. You do not need to spend extra hours working because you wasted so much time in meetings. Instead, make those meetings work for you. MeetingPRIMES can help you do that. I encourage you to read through MeetingPRIMES, bookmark it, and find what works for your needs. I guarantee it will save you a few hours this month and a little more room on your calendar.
MeetingPRIMES.com is a useful tool to get you to more efficient meetings, but when leaders really need to reach powerful outcomes, they turn to our organization for the added expertise our facilitators provide. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you overcome complex challenges and achieve the results you need.