Thursday, February 2, 2012

Meetings & Time

We had a grade-level meeting this morning. Bright and early - 7am. It was a fairly productive meeting; a few key things were discussed, analyzed, and generally mulled over. Quickly approaching is a winter activity field trip, and ironing out some issues was important to do, as well as starting conversation for some events happening in May & June. So it's not to say this was a waste of time, because it wasn't.

However, I left the meeting wondering if it all couldn't have happened a little faster. You know, those 30 minutes turned into 15. I don't know, I'm sure that's a lot easier said than done. Sometimes the nature of these things is that they last longer than they naturally should, and I suppose that's why the word 'meetings' tends to have a negative connotation. This is a great TED Talk video about the lack of work happening at Work. Meetings come up at the 8:40 mark or so:

My guess is there are many different possible solutions to the always-present conundrum of meetings. So much depends on where a person works, they type of work they do, who they work with, and who their superiors are at the time. Furthermore, depending on the purpose, a meeting could be quite essential - problem solving, idea generation, task assigning, etc. For every 2-3 meetings that seem meaningless and time-killing, there's always 1 that ends up being beneficial. (Some would argue this ratio should be much higher, like 5:1 or so, but the point is made)

So it was great to find this interesting Wall Street Journal article a mere two hours after this morning's meeting. Maybe there's something to this? Maybe this type of meeting structure would encourage quicker, more decisive discussion and action? I don't know these answers, and like I said, many of our meetings like today's aren't bad, but maybe there are better ways out there...

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