Death by Meeting

by Cathy Hammer

The title of this book by Patrick Lencioni of “Five Dysfunctions of a Team” fame really resonates within the 4Views community.  Companies hold far too many meetings and are generally undisciplined about the preparation.  As a result, people spend time away from their “real work” with little to show for it.

We recommend starting with a well-constructed go/no go process for determining if a meeting is even warranted.  Could the situation be resolved in another way that is less time consuming?  If not, prepare the participants as much as possible in advance.  No one should have to spend valuable face time reading material.

Every well run meeting has three associated documents.  The first is a timed agenda with a stated goal at the top.  The second is meeting guidelines for content and behavior.  The third is the resulting written action plan on which each task has an owner.

Please share any tips you have for conducting meetings that are short, focused, and productive.  Let’s work together and prevent unnecessary “death.”


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