"The Better Meetings Ca,mpaign"I came across the  interesting sideshow embedded here –  This Weekly Meeting Took Up 300,000 Hours a Year  –  that looked at the ripple effect of preparation that a senior meeting causes.

  • A weekly excom meeting consumed 7,000 hours of executive time, already a lot.
  • To prepare for this the 11 attendees each hold preparation meetings – there goes another 20,000 hou
  • To prepare for these the attendees call their own preparation meetings – a total of 300,000 hours, driven by that single exco meeting per week.

From our own work we know that the average cost per person per hour of a meeting of managerial and professional people, is around $60. So this one meeting creates $18M per year of costs.

In the article the objective of the exco meeting is defined as “to provide updates on all phases of the business”. This is a pretty poor reason for a meeting, information giving and activity and status updates can be delivered asynchronously by email or website – certainly for a lot less than $18M per year. Meetings should be about the things we can only do synchronously like discussion, co-creation and decision making.

I can well imagine that these types of exco meetings consist of lots of update presentations of relatively low relevance to the other participants.

I did a similar exercise with a famously micromanaging CEO of a financial services organization. His weekly meetings asked inappropriately detailed questions of senior leaders, expecting them to know what every office had sold the previous week. I calculated that over 10,000 people had to submit at least some input to make sure all the business heads were (over) prepared, every week.

 

Why not…?

About the author:

Kevan Hall Kevan Hall is a CEO, author, speaker and trainer in matrix management, virtual teams and global working. He is the author of "Speed Lead - faster, simpler ways to manage people, projects and teams in complex companies, "Making the Matrix work - how matrix managers engage people and cut through complexity", and the "Life in a Matrix" podcasts, videos, cartoons and blog. He is CEO and founder of Global Integration. Company profile: .

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