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Meeting Hell: Stop Wasting Time

April 24, 2012
at 7:54 am PST

Like most business leaders, my most precious asset is time – and when I look at my schedule I’m spending about 80% of my time in meetings.  Some studies suggest the average knowledge worker spends around half their time in meetings.  When I measure my own personal productivity, by definition, there’s no more important place to look than these meetings.

We’ve all been in “meeting hell,” where we’re asking basic questions like, “Who called this meeting?” or  “What’s the agenda?” or “What are we trying to accomplish here?”

If you’ve ever asked these or similar questions during meetings, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Increased collaboration means increased interaction with others, which means more meetings. And, with more work being done collaboratively and in virtual settings, often with people in different time zones or even different countries with whom you haven’t spent a lot of time face to face, imagine the opportunities to be more effective. That’s why it’s absolutely essential for your teams to systematically make the most of your time together.

It’s a great feeling when you conclude a highly productive meeting--wouldn’t it be great if you could dramatically increase the productivity of all your meetings? With this goal in mind, we developed what we call the Clarity of Purpose model for meeting management, which involves four straightforward steps meeting owners can take to ensure collaborative sessions of any kind are as productive as possible.

Chapter 6 of The Collaboration Imperative: Executive Strategies for Unlocking Your Organization’s True Potential, the book Carl Wiese and I co-authored, covers the Clarity of Purpose model in detail, and I encourage you to get your hands on the book to learn more. You can also go to www.collaborativecommunicator.com/yourwork to watch videos explaining the model and download useful meeting-management templates. Just click on the “Maximize Meetings” box.

As I get feedback on The Collaboration Imperative, the chapter on the Clarity of Purpose model is one that really seems to resonate with busy business leaders. I hope you find it as valuable as we do in our efforts to stop wasting time.

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1 Comments.


  1. Hey Ron thats for highlighting this issue. I have started to realize I also spend around 70% of my time in meetings out of which 50% time gets wasted due to lack of clarity in meeting agenda. I agree collaboarion is the key and team success is long lasting as compred to individual achievements. Anyways looking forward towards your book and hope I will learn something unique through following your writings.

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