Prefer to listen?
As I mentioned in my last blog post, I am a bit of a foodie. Over the last couple of years, I made the decision that if I am going to cook a steak, I am going to cook the best, which in my opinion, is usually a Wagyu steak. Now, I know Wagyu is not cheap, but I have found a reasonably priced provider, and I have made the compromise of cooking a smaller piece than I might have in the past. And I will only have steak once every couple of weeks, so it is always a real treat.
For me, the intensity of a small but perfectly cooked piece of Wagyu is much better than a big hunk of ordinary meat (sorry to all the non-meat eaters reading this – meat analogy about to end).
I reckon meetings should be treated like Wagyu. They are an expensive, almost luxurious way to get work done, and we sometimes cram too many of them into our schedule, often without clear purpose or intentionality. What if we applied the same concept to meetings that I apply to my steak? That is, have smaller meetings, less often, but make sure that when we have meetings, they are the best quality. How good would that be?
Next time you start to organise a meeting, or accept a meeting invite, stop for a moment and consider if there might be a better way of achieving the desired outcome. Could an informal discussion between two or three people get to the heart of the issue more efficiently? Should this be an email, or an MS Teams post, rather than a meeting? If you decide that a meeting is the best tool for the job, what can you do to ensure that it is a focused and purposeful engagement that is productive for all attendees?
They say that too much meat is not only bad for our wellbeing, but also bad for the environment. Too much time in meetings is bad for your personal productivity, as well as for your team’s productivity culture. Let’s get smarter in how we use meetings as a tool to get work done. If we reduce the quantity of meetings whilst at the same time increase the quality, we will all benefit.