Adrift in a tsunami of meetings?


In the U.S., meetings waste an estimated $37 billion dollars of productivity annually.

[A healthy percentage of whatever’s left is spent on initiatives to ‘engage’ employees….many of whom may have become disengaged by a tsunami of meetings with no distinct purpose and few measurable outcomes.]

In a recent Forbes survey, 85% of senior executives said they’re dissatisfied with the efficiency and effectiveness of staff meetings.

ineffective meetings waste timeAlmost 50% of surveyed employees say their biggest time-waster is ‘too many meetings.’ An estimated 40% of management time is spent in meetings.

Few would argue with Sir Barnett Cocks, the British author who said:

“A meeting is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled.”


Are meetings important? Yes – when they’re effective and add value.

Effective meetings that result in engagement and action toward objectives are invaluable in terms of their contribution to clarity, commitment, accountability and performance. Unfortunately, few fit that description.

Meetings without measurable outcomes sap energy, disengage participants and take time away from activities that add value – draining the organization’s resources, energy and productivity.

And yet every day, millions of people grab their notepads and smart phones and trudge into conference rooms [or pickup a phone or login into a web meeting] to begin a day of meetings that often don’t seem destined to move the needle…..leaving little time to do meaningful work.

So why not change the way we conduct meetings?

Why not consolidate, reengineer and invigorate meetings?

Why not involve and engage participants in transforming them into ‘our meetings’ instead of ‘their meetings’?

‘No time’ is the common excuse, but an investment of a few hours now can result in timely, efficient, meaningful meetings that support forward movement and provide return-on-investment for the foreseeable future.

How? See “Transforming Meetings for Leaders and Teams.”

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© copyright 2009-2013. Marilou Myrick, The Stage®/ Masters Among Us, Inc. All rights reserved.

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One Response to Adrift in a tsunami of meetings?

  1. Sarah January 29, 2014 at 11:37 am #

    Creating and sending a meeting agenda is vital to stay on topic during the meeting. Starting the meeting off with a fun icebreaker/video will engage each team member. Also, sending follow-up meeting minutes with outlined tasks to complete is beneficial.

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