Meetings: the ultimate time suck

Today we had a one of our quarterly hindsight meetings wherein each area prepares a deck and presents its findings about successes and misses for that period as well as initial recommendations for opportunities next time around. Done right they can be really informative and give you the basis for a great foundation for the following year. Done wrong they become a massive waste of time. This particular meeting was scheduled to be 11 hours!?!

Though invited to the whole thing, I was expected to attend at least 3 hours of that. I never got there.

Here’s a few reasons why:

  • They were running behind schedule and I had other more pressing current deadlines that needed to be attended to.
  • I figured that since over 30+ people sat through the entire day one would hope that there will be minutes and a deck of the handouts that I can read in the near future.
  • I am a firm believer in short meetings, any meeting longer than 2 hours becomes unproductive because let’s be honest,  rare is the individual who is actively listening after being talked to for that long.
  • It’s up to each function to conduct deep dives and keep those learnings front of mind when planning the next period. The big picture that impacts multiple functions is what matters to the larger group. In an (my) ideal world,  each area would have only 10-15 minutes to present and the rest of the smaller items would be available in the annex.

Tomorrow I head in search of the notes and the deck.


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