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Monthly ArchiveJuly 2007

Holding Meetings 16 Jul 2007 12:02 pm

Topic 6: Holding a Meeting (More to Think About)

And, here is the last minute rush of “interesting articles”.

Don’t want everyone to be overwhelmed, but you might find these pieces interesting (you knew at some point I was going to start bringing out the really serious stuff).

Each of these is from the Harvard Business Review and explore different aspects of meetings from “how-to” to “how not to”. All of them are short enough to get the point quickly (except the first one, which needs to cover lots of ground, but still gets to the point.

  • How to Run a Meeting HBR
    • This one is very thorough and covers practically every topic that relates to meetings and their success. A good one to start with.
  • Meetings that work; Plans bosses can approve (HBR)
    • This is focused on the “meeting with your boss to approve your proposal” meeting. The key word here is “FOCUS”. You will like this one. You will want to use this the next time you have an idea or project.
  • Stop Wasting Valuable Time (HBR)
    • This one is also about focus (and not wasting valuable time). Think about this phrase from the article: “the urgent crowds out the important”
  • Offsites that Work (HBR)
    • Another good quote: “It simply left no fingerprints on the business”. Is that a great line or what? In other words, if you are going to the trouble of having an off site, you will want to be sure that it will have a real and persistent influence.


Will pick up on each of these on Thursday.

Holding Meetings 16 Jul 2007 11:13 am

Topic 6: Holding a Meeting (Opening Act on Employee Evaluation)

Bill Caldwell has kindly agreed to give a presentation on Employee Performance to start us off for this month’s FNC Roundtable.

For his presentation, he has provided us with three documents, which you should feel free to download. We will be asking someone at each location to have the slide show on the screen during his presentation.

We’ll see (hear?) everyone there on Thursday.

Holding Meetings 13 Jul 2007 11:31 am

Topic 6: Holding a Meeting (Get out of jail free)

Well, time is getting short before we have our meeting on how to have a meeting (does that seem a little odd to anyone else?).

Three items today

  • Think about what the different reasons that we hold meetings. Why do we meet? While we talk about how we “hate meetings”, we get together almost instinctively, for lots of reasons. We stop by people’s offices, gather in the halls and huddle around whiteboards. What are those reasons, and how do meetings help us?
    • Figuring things out
    • Coordination
    • Sharing information
    • What else?
  • Should the reason for a particular meeting have something to do with how the meeting is conducted (including who holds it, how long, who is invited and so on)?
  • Think about all the reasons we hate meetings. What is it about them that gets under our skin?
    • Is is about about “not getting any real work done?”
    • The presentations are too long, too boring, too unfocused?
    • I am not engaged? Why not?
    • I’m afraid not to be there, but know I am not contributing anything (see this example from Peter Drucker’s The Effective Executive. You will have to pardon his language. Just substitute “person” for “man”. Peter Drucker: Meeting Example)
    • What else?

While you are working on those three things, I am attaching a very nice slideshow that talks about some very good steps for assuring effective meetings. I think you will find it very helpful. We will use it as part of the outline on Thursday.

It is called Get Out of Jail Free: How to Run Effective Meetings. Right now is a great time to down load it and check it out. (It is really, really short.). The link is below.

Get Out of Jail Free/How to run effective meetings

While you are at it, what better way to start a meeting than with a reference to a Dilbert meeting, like this one:

Holding Meetings 05 Jul 2007 08:11 am

Topic 6: Holding Meetings (Agenda Detection)

Wait. Is posting about the same topic two days in a row too much?

I’m not sure, but I think you will find this posting really interesting. I am assuming that you have already read the Rands in Repose posting from July 3 about “taking time to think“. His observations about taking time to think describe an important type of meeting (the “brainstorming” meeting) .

Here he just talks about meetings in general in Agenda Detection. I think it more or less tells it all about our own frustration with meetings (and what to do about it). Give it a look and see what you think.

We will be talking about “agendas” at our “meeting” on July 19th. That is the real date, by the way. I make a mistake in my e-mail and said July 18. Sorry about that.

Holding Meetings 03 Jul 2007 02:14 pm

Topic 6: Holding Meetings

This has to be everyone’s favorite. Meetings, meetings, meetings. What is that get us so excited about attending (or holding) meetings? Isn’t it just like getting to each dessert all day long?

Nay, some say. Not everyone likes to go to meetings, hear about meetings, even think about meetings. Why is that?

Are we thinking that attending a meeting is not the same as getting work done? Is that the same as feeling that when you are “getting work done” that we have some control over your environment, but you don’t during a meeting? What about the fact that it is hard to pay attention sometimes?

To get people started thinking about meetings, click below for a great blog posting about “taking time to think” but has an entire section on meetings that help “take time to think”. I think everyone will recognize much of what “Rands in Repose” is talking about.

Here it is: Taking Time to Think

Have a very happy 4th of July.