I hear time and time again from people that their meetings are a complete waste of time. In fact, they can often be a huge productivity killer. When I dig deeper, I can easily find out why. They typically don’t accomplish anything - the team gets together, but they don’t work on solving the problems facing the company. Team members often update the status of their pet projects, highlighting their accomplishments and glossing over the challenges. Many people get the feeling of Groundhog Day as they talk about the same topics time after time and never make any progress on the real, pressing issues facing the company. However, they don’t get the comedic genius of the great Bill Murray to keep them entertained during their meeting. It doesn’t have to be that way. There is a better way to run meetings.
Rhythm Blog | Weekly Meeting
by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team
“I can’t wait to get out of this meeting to get my real work done!”
“I’m in back to back meetings. I won’t get anything done today!”
Sound familiar? According to Inc.com, most meetings are not productive; “In fact, executives consider more than 67% of meetings to be failures.” Ouch - when you consider the amount of time and money your company spends on meetings, this is even more painful. This same Inc.com article sites that “15% of an organization’s collective time is spent in meetings” and “more than $37 billion per year is spent on unproductive meetings.”
How productive are your meetings? Is your company or team on the wrong side of these stats?
Having great weekly meetings is the secret to increasing your speed of execution and getting more initiatives done.
"Wow! Really? Mine suck. In fact, I am thinking of stopping my weekly status meeting altogether,” a friend said to me. When I asked him why, he shared that they were boring, tedious, and his team could not wait for the weekly status meeting to be over so that they could get some real work done. The British Psychological Society reported that $37B each year is lost to unproductive meetings. Clearly, some of those dollars were my buddy’s.
One of the best practices we recommend to all of our clients is rotating facilitation duties for your team’s weekly adjustment meeting. There are a few reasons for this: having different styles and facilitators keeps the team engaged in the meeting week after week, and giving everyone on the team a chance to facilitate builds leadership skills and encourages taking ownership of the team meeting. With a more engaged team, you’ll have a better meeting and be more likely to solve problems rather than waste time on status updates. But, meeting facilitation is a skill - and one that everyone on the team might not be comfortable with at first.
My wife and daughter are obsessed with Criminal Minds. If you have never seen the show, almost every episode starts with a killing or a dead body. The characters then solve the mystery with the audience totally absorbed in how they go about solving the case.
Did you know that $37 billion is lost every year to unproductive meetings? I will let that sink in for a minute. If you are wasting even a fraction of that, you need to de-suck your meetings and get productive! How do you know that your weekly meetings are time wasters instead of time savers?
Here are five reasons why meetings suck, and a couple of tips to de-suck them.
With so many Rhythm client companies growing like crazy, many of my clients have needed to integrate new hires into existing Weekly Adjustment Meetings recently.
For most newbies, participating in a Rhythm Weekly Adjustment Meeting is a welcomed change. Most people are used to boring status meetings that end up being a waste of time. They are floored by how effective Rhythm teams are in having meaningful discussions and solving problems. It's refreshing to see things actually getting done at a weekly meeting!
So, how can you make sure the magic rubs off on the new hire?
Take a look at your calendar. If you’re like most executives, you’re booked up with meetings weeks in advance. As we all know, meetings can sometimes be a real waste of time. At Rhythm Systems, we help our clients establish the right rhythm or cadence of meetings and use best practices to ensure the time spent in meetings is valuable. We believe that our Daily Huddles, Weekly Adjustment Meetings, Monthly Meetings, Quarterly Planning, Annual Planning, and ongoing think rhythms help your company (and each of you) work more effectively, solve problems more proactively, and make critical adjustments so you can achieve success. That being said, you probably have some meetings on your calendar that you wonder, “What’s the point?"
Jасk Wеlсh оnсе said, "Whеn mаnаgеrѕ аѕk quеѕtіоnѕ, they aren't lооkіng fоr answers, thеу'rе looking fоr vаlіdаtіоn." Quеѕtіоnѕ аrе a роwеrful mееtіng tool. They еlісіt раrtісіраtіоn, ideas and creativity. Evеn іf уоu аlrеаdу knоw the аnѕwеrѕ, аѕkіng thе rіght questions engages реорlе. Pеорlе embrace and own what thеу participate іn. Participation сrеаtеѕ оwnеrѕhір, ассоuntаbіlіtу, and a grеаtеr соmmіtmеnt tо produce thе rеѕultѕ.
Ineffective meetings waste more than your precious time - they also hit your company’s bottom line. In fact, there’s a Meeting Calc app that you can use to determine exactly how much the meeting costs based on the salaries of the people in the room and how long the meeting runs. As they say, “It takes a really good meeting to be better than no meeting at all."
Even if you aren’t a “numbers person,” take a moment to consider who’s in the room at your next meeting. Think about the opportunity cost - if those people weren’t sitting in this meeting, what else might they be doing? Closing sales? Servicing customers? Finding new partners or channels? Developing products? Coaching their teams? Thinking up brilliant new revenue growth strategies?