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Friday, March 09, 2007

Death by Meeting

Everyone who runs meetings should look at this book by Patrick Lencioni, Death by Meeting. We all hate meetings. Me too. But the problem is not usually that we have too many meetings, but that our meetings are too disorganized. Hence they last too long and get very little done.

Lencioni recommends have more meetings, not less, but doing them smarter. He suggests four types of meetings. These are my take on what he writes:

  • The Daily Check-IN - No more than 5 minutes every morning. No one sits down. Everyone has 60 seconds or less to tell the others what they're doing that day. This is nota time to problem solve. You can ask clarifying questions but no debate.

  • The Weekly Tactical - This should be an hour or two. This is the meeting where you plan how to get things done. You solve nuts-and-bolts problems.

  • The Monthly Strategic - 2 to 3 hours. Let people think big and talk big. Discuss strategy, vision, goals and long-range plans.

  • Quarterly Brainstorm - A offsite retreat. Lencioni suggests 2-3 days long. Gives everyone a chance to talk.
Obviously, ever organization has its own culture. Some of this is not practical for us. We won't do things exactly like he suggests. But it is interesting.

As it is, I think many organizations try to do their informative, tactical, strategic, and brainstorming all in one meeting. And that's too confusing.

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1 comment:

Preachrboy said...

The old joke goes...

In Heaven there are no meetings.

In Purgatory, a meeting every night.

Hell is just one long meeting.

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