THE MEETING: OPPORTUNITY
OR TIME WASTER?
“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time,
for that is the stuff life is made of. “
Awisconsin manufacturing company scheduled meetings to discuss ways to improve productivity. After leaving yet another time-consuming session, one employee said, “And we'll keep these meetings going until someone figures out why nothing is getting done around here!”
Does this story reflect real life? All too often! Why?
Meetings are the most firmly entrenched institutionalized time wasters in U.S. business society. No accurate figures exist on hours frittered away in needless meetings. Just as well! If such a count could be verified, the shock to the mass psyche would be lasting.
We do know the hour carnage is horrific. Since we don't have a cure for the meeting, at least we can learn intelligent ways to treat its symptoms.
Why do we (anyone) schedule a meeting? Ironically enough, it's all based on the meeting caller's desire for efficiency and effectiveness in communication and persuasion! He or she strives to get 5, 25, 50, or 105 people in one spot to tell them all (1) how wonderful a development is, (2) how great a customer need is, and (3) how they must stop doing X and start doing Y—or any one of a hundred other variations.