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Why business people do so many meetings?

  1. Jun 24, 2008 #1
    Why business people do so many meetings?

    My boss says that's all he do all day!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 24, 2008 #2
    Re: Meetings!

    Because management is full of people that have no in depth concept of what is actually going on and need to constantly be updated with dumbed down versions of the current work to make important decisions regarding the funding of the work they do not understand.
     
  4. Jun 24, 2008 #3

    berkeman

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    Re: Meetings!

    There was a company here in Silicon Valley (I forget which one) where everybody had to stand in the meetings -- no sitting down. This was to make sure that meetings were only as long as they had to be, and that people didn't get comfortable scheduling and attending long meetings. Maybe you should suggest this to your boss....
     
  5. Jun 24, 2008 #4

    JasonRox

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    Re: Meetings!

    Let me know what company. I don't want to work for them.
     
  6. Jun 24, 2008 #5
    Re: Meetings!

    Reminds me of the recent IBM ads, they may be "Ideating"!
     
  7. Jun 24, 2008 #6

    Astronuc

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    Re: Meetings!

    Dilbert!


    I used to work for the pointy-haired manager. Well - a VP like that.


    He lectured us on punctuality because some of us would drift into meetings after the scheduled start - because we were busy working or dealing with a client.

    So the next meeting after we got lectured on punctuality, we ended up sitting in the meeting room - waiting - for about 15 minutes while the VP took a couple of phone calls. We pointed it out when he finally showed up in the meeting.


    I like to minimize meetings. These days we have a 1 hour project meeting via internet, and period group meetings via webcast.

    I need more bandwidth so we can to video on the webcasts.
     
  8. Jun 24, 2008 #7

    brewnog

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    Re: Meetings!

    Meetings can be highly effective ways to organise, inform, plan, manage and evaluate projects and people. However, it's imperative that they're run properly, otherwise they easily become a highly effective way of wasting the time of multiple people.

    If you find that your meetings are a waste of time, you need to really consider doing something about it. Do you actually need to be there? Are you well-informed prior to attending? Has an agenda been set? Have the right people been invited? Has everyone turned up on time? Are minutes being taken? Is the chairman directing the course of the meeting, sticking to the agenda, and creating tangible actions as a result?
     
  9. Jun 24, 2008 #8

    lisab

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    Re: Meetings!

    Very true; having a strong moderator/facilitator helps, and a corporate culture that stresses keeping to the agenda makes a difference.

    I worked at a place that didn't have enough meetings (believe it or not!). On the rare occations we did meet, everyone had so many things they wanted to discuss that those meetings would meander for hours. Very ineffective!
     
  10. Jun 24, 2008 #9

    Astronuc

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    Re: Meetings!

    Having an agenda helps! :rofl:

    Better yet - provide an agenda well in advance so people can be prepared for discussion.
     
  11. Jun 24, 2008 #10
    Re: Meetings!

    Especially when it is an agenda that everyone has agreed to.
     
  12. Jun 24, 2008 #11

    Moonbear

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    Re: Meetings!

    I agree. Also, "meetings" can be anything from a large group to a one-on-one meeting. They can be useful to coordinate the work of a lot of people, or a complete waste of time, and that often relates to the skills of the person running the meeting.

    There was one person who used to call regular meetings that we called the "local torture committee" meeting behind his back. The first half hour or so were important to attend and got us all updated on useful information, but then they'd meander on forever getting into details we didn't all need to know about how everyone was accomplishing their individual tasks; all we needed to know was "done, not done, or need help from someone else?" I would ask people in my lab to call me if I wasn't back 45 min after the meeting started and then excuse myself because someone in the lab was doing an experiment and needed help. :biggrin: :wink:

    Right now, our department faculty meetings are about the best schedule I've ever encountered for meetings. The chair basically calls them "as needed" or every two months. In other words, we usually meet every other month to discuss routine things, but if something important comes up that can't wait, or the list of things people want to discuss at the next meeting starts to grow too long, he schedules an extra one during the off-month. That keeps us from having too many meetings or meetings that run too long.

    For me, there's nothing worse than a meeting for the sake of meeting, where you sit around listening to people babble for an hour, but walk out no further toward solutions to any problems, having had no proper discussion, and having no goals to work on before the next meeting. I find reasons not to attend those meetings.
     
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