Can we spare a few meetings and get back to work?

We only need to read, watch or listen to the news to check how some meetings lack of effectiveness, although they are high level so-called, take place with great frequentness and normally do not come to any agreement, but this does not mind at all as the responsibility level for to making any decision, mistakes’ consequences, wrong actions’ cost is practically non-existent and almost always is delayed in time, until the next election.

You may have already guessed I am referring to a great number of meetings among politicians and government officials, in any level of State Administration, from City Hall to EuroGroup, you name it.

But let us go somewhere else and focus our attention on a much more productive field, that belong to workers, employees, officers and directors, both in private or public sector, who in principle are not allowed to have so many chances before doing the right things and at the end of the day maintain the structures, finance their running and directly suffer the consequences when politicians and government officials badly manage.

There are different kinds of meetings, they may be classified from multiple perspectives, but here we are going to try and find some common items for all of them.

Before arranging a meeting, the person who has the idea of holding it and directly or indirectly calls for it, trying to achieve the greater possible effectiveness, should take the following aspects into account: who is meeting, where does it take place, when is it scheduled, for how long will it run, what matters will be discussed, why is it called and what it holds for.

During the event some specific agreements should be reached, that could be translated into specific actions to be taken, with somebody in charge and an execution deadline. To continue with a follow-up mechanism to guarantee the approved agreements are set in motion.

Otherwise, each meeting may become an updated version of the previous one, like what happens with some classic movies, that are being remade, but never mean improving the original version… and besides we must consider that apart from saying it work has also to be done.

In the meantime, until meetings reach a sufficient level in their usefulness, I propose you some amusement to, at least, keep your mind awake and value the originality of the approach. You only need to mark the used terms and the minute in which they are said, assigning a score in a decreasing inverse order. Whether the word is used within the first minute the score will be 10 points, for every minute that goes by one point is deducted, until we reach minute number 10, from that moment onwards no score is obtained. The lower score equals higher originality and the other way round.

The terms are:

Team                           Clients                         Optimization                Methodology

Joint                            Entrepreneurship          Project                         Cooperation

Sustainability                 Development               Strategy                        Performance

Innovation                   Margin                         Implementation               Result

Opportunity                 Value                           Market                         Projection

Parameters                   Profit                           Margin                         Forecast

Estimate                       Integration                   Environment                 Level

We may also find some interchangeable sentences, which stand for nothing specific and do not have a defined use, but I am quite sure we may listen to them in some of those unnecessary meetings we cannot help attending once in a while:

I believe we have had enough amusement so far, so let us get back to work and try to move business ahead.



    • Montse says:

      Hola Javier,

      Me ha parecido muy interesante el artículo. Creo que la mayor parte de todas las reuniones, por no decir todas, carecen de la eficacia que toda reunión debería tener. Empezando por la mala o nula planificación, el objetivo tan poco claro que se tiene sobre el fin de la misma y la asistencia a esta, donde normalmente solo suele ir aquellas personas que están al cargo de ciertas funciones pero que no las desempeñan y por lo tanto no las conocen tan a fondo como para poder decidir cómo hacerlas más efectivas.
      Si valorásemos como tú dices la efectividad y productividad de toda y cada una de las reuniones, quizás se empezaría mejor a asentar unas bases para cerciorarnos de la verdadera necesidad de hacer o no reuniones.
      Gracias de nuevo por tu artículo.

      • pymero says:

        Hola Montse,
        Muchas gracias por tu comentario.
        Veo que coincidimos en el enfoque de este tema.
        Me alegro de que te haya gustado.
        Saludos cordiales,

    • Ian Whiteside says:

      Yes, setting a writen agenda is important to enable the discussion to remain on track. Then as you say control the procedure and finish with agreed objectives and delegated responsibility.

    • Sol says:

      Hola Javier;
      Que razón tienes…En vez de enfocar nuestra atención en lo prioritario, nos pasamos las horas acudiendo a reuniones carentes de fundamento…
      Me gusta tu blog y la empresa que has creado…Se nota que llevas muchos años en el mercado…Tu conocimiento puede ayudar a muchas personas…

      • pymero says:

        Hola Sol,
        Muchas gracias por tus positivos comentarios.
        Me alegro te haya gustado lo que has leído.
        Te agradezco tus consideraciones.

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