Sound absurd? It happens all of the time in companies, large and small. All that wasted time, it always baffles me what could be accomplished with time spent on nonsense. At a previous job, a large global media conglomerate, people had back to back meetings all day and all week long. First would be the pre-meeting to discuss who should be involved in the meeting itself; what the goal of the meeting was; how would we explain the goal; and what our goal for the meeting was. Sometimes this could be enough to send out the Out Look Meeting Invite; but usually there would need to be a second pre meeting. At the second pre meeting we could talk about more specifics of who should be at the meeting; you have print, digital, new business (separate for print and digital), sales reps, managers and directors. No ones feelings could be hurt – or more accurately the political posturing of inviting very senior level people to meetings could be a feather in your cap. Then of course, who is going to lead the meeting, going over exactly what they would say to introduce the meeting. Usually around now you could send the meeting invite out; always being extremely careful of the “to” line and the “cc” line. To meant you had to go, cc meant you are being kept in the loop.
So, the invite to the meeting goes out; one of the VPs invited writes back with something else she wants on the agenda. This of course leads to another meeting to go over what she has on her mind. We are now up to 3 meetings to prep for the meeting itself. Best case scenario the meeting takes place; the VP in charge of Sales has no experience in selling and is also very “prickly” (being nice here); the point being whatever her mood was could instantly change the tone of the meeting, but thats another story for another day. Anyway, lets say the meeting goes well, other ideas are brought up and “next steps” are outlined. Next steps of course will be discussed in another meeting. Then the process starts all over again; first is the post meeting review, discussing how the meeting went, what to move forward on. The there will be another meeting to follow up on the post meeting so everything is set for the next steps meeting.
People and companies are drowning in unnecessary meetings. The time thats wasted is monumental. This time could be used for innovation, getting more work done, improving the atmosphere of the company. Internal company meetings are killing corporate America