The Point: After sitting through yet again another painfully boring series of meetings, a leader I work with had achieved his tipping point of frustration. The meeting lacked focus, quality content, important dialog, and action plans for moving forward. If as a leader you are faced with the same dilemmas in meeting mediocrity, this post will share with you are successful game plan for conducting a meeting in five minutes or less for better results… Enjoy!
Meeting Mediocrity… You’re Either Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution!
If you’ve ever sat through a meeting, or worse yet a series of meetings and afterwards you asked yourself “What was that all about?” this post is for you. It’s estimated that in any given month you’ll waste 31 hours in meetings and roughly 70% of your overall time at work. As a leader, meetings that waste time (the one resource that you have which you can never get returned to you) act as a tremendous suck and a severe leadership challenge. However, as the leader, guess what? You can, should, and must do something about meetings that waste everyone’s time.
The 5-Minute Meeting
Could you gain enough information so as to be updated and identify exploration paths to be taken on a topic? That was the goal our leader set out to resolve, and here’s how they did it:
- Meetings should be considered “Updates”
- These updates should provide a sixty second (1-minute) update on the topic at hand
- Attendees will have 4-minutes to ask questions, and the subject matter experts in the room (not always those presenting) will answer
- The final sixty seconds (1-minute) will be spent architecting next steps and accountability pieces
Better Results from a 5-Minute Meeting
So you’re probably asking yourself a multitude of questions regarding conducting a 5-minute meeting for better results (as did I!) Here’s a starter list that I had:
- Who calls the meetings?
- How is the invitation list generated?
- Can a topic be thoroughly reviewed in sixty seconds (1-minute)?
- Who gets to ask questions… Senior Leadership, Stakeholders, Who?
- Who answers the questions, and what repercussions are there for those that “speak up” when perhaps organizational traditions don’t typically allow for such transparency/openness?
- How grandiose are these next step tasks?
- What if next steps tasks need to be conducted by those not present in the meeting?
- Who holds parties accountable (Meeting Caller or Leader)?
- And a host of others…
The bottom line is that our leader was able to significantly shrink the time spent in meetings for himself, as well as organizational stakeholders. This decreased time spent in meetings allowed for greater focus in the meetings, greater attention to details when completing tasks, and ultimately greater teamwork from the organization at large. So you think you can or think you can’t pull off a 5-minute meeting for better results where you work? Either way, you’re right (But if you never try you certainly limit yourself in achieving better results!
You’re Going to Waste 31 Hours in Meetings – http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/time-wasted-meetings-data
70% of Your Time at Work is Wasted, How to Change That – http://www.fastcompany.com/3033093/work-smart/70-of-your-time-at-work-is-wasted-how-to-change-that