Tag: meetings

Meetings can be destructive

I’ve just read an interesting article about meetings Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule which reminded me about 37signals statement that “meetings are toxic” Meetings Are Toxic.

While I understand that meetings can’t be eliminated I also agree that many of them require urgent changes. The main issues I find destructive in far too many meetings are:

  1. No clear purpose.
  2. No agenda (= no chance to prepare or decline the meeting).
  3. No owner.
  4. Not sticking to a schedule.
  5. No clear actions after the meeting (except for a need for calling another meeting).
  6. The more attendees the better.

IMHO fixing the issues above would make most meetings far less destructive and not feeling like a waste of time.

Breaking day into small incoherent chunks can be solved by some simple policies like not having any meetings after/before lunch, having them at the beginning of a day, etc.

Of course, it won’t eliminate all the problems, but it’s easier to stand a couple of destructive meetings per month when all others are either cancelled or scheduled and conducted properly.

No, I’m not against meetings. I’m against useless meetings.