McKinsey & Company
Enough already
The news
Historical scourge. Meetings proliferated as corporations grew after the Industrial Revolution, but they’ve been a fact of life since ancient Egypt. And there’s still strong suspicion that they’re useless. The best meetings are held for specific reasons, combine introverts and extroverts, and designate a decision maker. [NYT]
Change the agenda. More than two-thirds of workers complain that meetings keep them from being productive. Running through the minds of a third of workers, all or most of the time: “this meeting could have been an email.” Companies are trying to change, setting new standards such as 25-minute time maximums, no-gathering Fridays, and sending video messages to teams that they can watch when they want. [Fortune]
“The only thing on earth that never lies to you is your calendar.”
Our insights
Why it matters. The average CEO spends 72% of work time in meetings, nearly three-quarters of which last an hour or more. Sixty-one percent of executives said that at least half the time they spent making decisions was ineffective, and just 37% said their organizations’ decisions were both high-quality and timely.
Gather with purpose. Effective meetings begin with a clear goal. For decisions, gather six to eight decision makers and follow an agenda that identifies the choices. For discussion, groups of eight to 20 can engage in active dialogue. Crucially, the meeting must be necessary. Here’s how to decide whether to have it, who comes, and how to make it count.
— Edited by Katy McLaughlin   
Convene thoughtfully
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