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The Secret to Fewer, More Productive Meetings

July 11, 2013 by Bruce Jones, Programming Director, Disney Institute


When your day’s priorities are competing against each other for your every waking minute, it’s time to get smart about the way you approach collaboration. Perhaps you need to ask if your organization has a collaborative culture to begin with?

I have been a part of many organizations, some more organized and efficient than others. Several of these companies had the good fortune of strong, continuous growth — but that presented a communication problem. There were simply more meetings that "needed" to happen than there were hours in the day.

My leaders challenged me to approach my meeting schedule a bit differently — to be more efficient and productive. Each meeting needed to begin with objectives, have an agenda, and end with next steps. In the case that it was not pertinent that I be in a meeting, I had to come to terms with allowing myself to graciously say "no."

Of course, some meetings are necessary. For these meetings, Inc.com has developed a list of tips to stay on task and efficient from some of the world’s most productive people. Such advice includes inviting junior colleagues to help keep ideas fresh and relevant, or "say it in five words," ask your colleagues to sum up the purpose of the meeting in five words or less so that everyone is working towards a common goal.

Do you have a secret to conducting more productive meetings, or avoiding unnecessary ones? Share your thoughts with the community in the comments below.

Flickr Credit: Dwonderwall



Posted in Business Excellence | Tagged Ivan Poupyrev, Collaborative Culture, Team Building, Communication Skills, Cross-Functional Collaboration, Bruce Jones | 3 Comments


3 Responses to The Secret to Fewer, More Productive Meetings

  • Linda says:

    on July 11, 2013

    I find myself more productive at a meeting in the morning. I also find greater productivity when the room is cooler and there is ice water or chilled bottled water available. There is nothing more energy sucking than a post prandial meeting in the afternoon in a hot room.


  • Bob says:

    on July 16, 2013

    It is possible to have online discussions of agenda topics prior to face to face meetings. This allows everyone to put forward their views as well as hear the views of the other group members. By doing this, the meeting can focus on decisions and actions - take less time and be more productive. There is an application called lorros.com which really helps - the tagline is "fewer meetings, productive results".


  • Michael says:

    on July 30, 2013

    The Chair or leader can help keep the meeting focused and productive by politely moving the discussion forward if attendees start repeating what others have already said. A good way of doing so is to nicely say, "That's a good point, does anyone have anything else to offer"?


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