When I was the director and manager of a company's corporate university, every Monday morning I had a meeting with the company's CEO and 1st and 2nd VPs. The meetings were part reporting and part hot seat, both of which led to a lot of discussion. To the CEO's credit, and because all senior staff were lined up for the same Monday morning confab, my meeting almost always started on the hour and ended fifty-five minutes later. During that time, I was expected to (1) report on what was happening with the university and (2) answer questions about reports, questions or concerns they'd gotten from anyone.
In addition to Monday morning, I met semi-annually for half-day strategy meetings with the CEO and, once each year, presented the state of the corporate university in a dinner meeting with the company's Board of Directors. Added to those meetings were weekly meetings with my own team and regular mini-meetings with fifteen department heads.
Sound familiar? That's a lot of time used in meetings!!
In a recent article posted on CNBC about why meetings fail, executive coach Rick Gilbert estimates that failed meetings waste about $3.1 million every year. He lists several reasons why meetings fail, including that people don't come prepared, use too many boring power point slides and dilly dally instead of getting to the point. Gilbert describes some "nightmare scenarios" and offers a few suggestions for circumventing or improving them, including:
- Keep your energy up, be excited about what’s going on and energize the discussion
- Don’t just do your homework on the topic of the presentation, do your homework on the people in the room
- Understand that the meeting isn't about you but about disseminating information
You can read the whole article at http://www.cnbc.com/id/48898453