Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"We've Got To Stop (Internally) Meeting Like This!"

We Are Singing Off The Same Song Sheet, But We Aren't Making "Music"

By David Miranda

The cliches' are numerous describing teamwork and collaboration, i.e. "let's all get on the same page"; "we need to sing off the same song sheet"; "we all need to be rowing in the same direction", etc. Yada yada yada.

Truth be told, most internal meetings, despite the good intentions, are a waste of time. People meet just to meet - to review the minutes of the last meeting; plod through the agenda of the current meeting; and confirming the date and time of the next meeting.

An internal meeting is nothing but corporate overhead. At you next internal meeting, look around the room. What you will see is pure cost to the enterprise. If you are going to have an internal meeting, ask yourself the question "what is the ROI on the overhead of this meeting?", i.e. "How much revenue and/or profit is going to be generated as a result of our collective time in this room?"

One might argue that some meetings are necessary to discuss operational, human resources, accounting, processes, software, etc. This is true, but shouldn't all these subjects be discussed in terms of improving the company's financial performance. Otherwise what's the point?

If you are in a meeting where there is no discussion of top or bottom line, raise your hand and ask politely, "what does this meeting have to do with the company's financial performance?"

A relevant meeting begins with a relevant objective, i.e. "We need to increase our revenue by 4%" or "reduce our costs by 5%" or "increase our market share by 1%". "That's what this meeting is for so let's start the discussion".

People are generally eager to attend and participate in meetings that are action and objective oriented- where they can see results.

They don't want just to "sing off the same song sheet", they want to make "music" - as in revenue, profits, and market share.