I've attended a lot of meetings in my life. Actually, I've attended several life times worth. As a human resources leader, work is filled with "important" meetings and "critical" meetings and "high impact" meetings and just about every other cliche label for a meeting that you can think of.
And they're all lies.
Meetings Are Excuses to Avoid Work
Almost every meeting I've ever been to has been a complete waste of time.
Let me say that again...almost, every meeting I've ever been to has been a complete waste of time.
Harsh? Out of touch? Sour grapes?
Not at all. I'm not angry. I just don't want to waste so many hours of my life listening to drivel that should be shared in an email. Most meetings are "updates" or "report outs."
Why in the world are we paying everyone to walk to a conference room, sit and chit chat, listen while every one takes turns giving updates, and then more chit chat, and finally a long walk to another conference room to do it all over again?
What in the world has happened to the modern world of work that we have convinced ourselves that report outs = work? Seriously?
It's All New to Me
I didn't always feel this way. I used to average between 25-30 meetings every week of the year. I thought I was "super busy" and "going hard" each day. What I was actually doing was wasting 20 or so hours each week doing nothing.
It comes as no surprise to me now as I help organizations take their performance to unimagined levels of success, that the meeting trap always gets in the way. The leaders constantly have to "run to a meeting" that adds zero value to their revenue, expense management, or furthering their culture.
How About You
When was the last time you completely eliminated a long-standing meeting that no longer added value? When was the last time you ensured only one member of your team attended meetings (versus the "key" people who really "should be there"?) When was the last time you said no to a request to attend a meeting?
Or, is it simply safer to go to meetings and use your busy schedule as an excuse to be a failure?
It's 2018...we're better than that.
I'd love to hear from you.