Do you have one? Some folks are going to eight hours of meeting a day. At Ford, they used to have meetings to prepare for meetings, just to be sure everyone had their story straight.
If you're serious about solving your meeting problem, getting things done and saving time, try this for one week. If it doesn't work, I'll be happy to give you a full refund.
- Understand that all problems are not the same. So why are your meetings? Does every issue deserve an hour? Why is there a default length?
- Schedule meetings in increments of five minutes. Require that the meeting organizer have a truly great reason to need more than four increments of realtime face time.
- Require preparation. Give people things to read or do before the meeting, and if they don't, kick them out.
- Remove all the chairs from the conference room. I'm serious.
- If someone is more than two minutes later than the last person to the meeting, they have to pay a fine of $10 to the coffee fund.
- Bring an egg timer to the meeting. When it goes off, you're done. Not your fault, it's the timer's.
- The organizer of the meeting is required to send a short email summary, with action items, to every attendee within ten minutes of the end of the meeting.
- If you're not adding value to a meeting, leave. You can always read the summary later.
This is all marketing. It's a show, one that lets your team know you're treating meetings differently now.