Everybody wants your meetings to stop sucking.

A few weeks ago I posted my thoughts on improving meetings. Apparently I'm not the only on who has had to suffer through some bad meetings lately. Every blogger I know is writing on the same topic.

Michael Hyatt is taking some of the complexity out of his organization and has this to say:
The number of meetings. We should be very careful about setting up routine meetings. Once they are in place, they are hard to eliminate—they seem to take on a life of their own. Every once in a while (perhaps annually) it is good to re-evaluate every standing meeting and ask five questions:

“What is the intended outcome of this meeting?”
“Are all the people who attend this meeting really necessary to achieve this outcome?
“Can we meet less frequently and still achieve this outcome?”
“Can we meet for a shorter period of time and still achieve this outcome?”
“Is there some way to accomplish this outcome without a regular meeting?”
Seth Godin has 9 great ideas for shaking up your meetings. Here are a couple:
8. Create a public space (either a big piece of poster board or a simple online page) that allows attendees to rate meetings and their organizers on a scale of 1 to 5 in terms of usefulness. Just a simple box where everyone can write a number. Watch what happens.

9. If you're not adding value to a meeting, leave. You can always read the summary later.
Bert Decker lists 10 steps to make your meetings better. My favorites:
1. Cut the meetings you have in half. Cut the time of the meetings that remain in half. Unproductive talk and time will fill the space of long meetings - The Peter Principle in action.

4. Be controversial. Not outlandish, but stimulate robust dialogue. The reason most meetings are boring is because most meetings are boring. As the meeting leader, it's up to you to make it interesting.
All of their advice is a little different, but with a consistent theme: don't have one if you don't need to. And if you do, have an agenda, keep it short and lively, and send out minutes promptly.

Together we can make the world a better place. Or at least meetings.

What are meetings like in your organization?

Photo: kjarrett