5 Ways to Cap Meeting Mayhem

Shawn Dickerson

Some meetings are useful and productive; many more are black holes of wasted time, energy and resources. Here are five ground rules to get your organization’s meetings under control. A few might “meet” resistance, but over time most people will welcome an approach that focuses more on getting work done and less on talking about it.

Despite our groans and gripes, meetings are a necessity in virtually every business. In fact, even with so many other communication options like IM, email and texting, 68% of enterprise workers still rely on planned, face-to-face meetings to communicate with other departments, groups and teams within their company.  

But for many companies, things have simply gotten out of hand. Meeting mayhem has turned otherwise efficient, productive organizations into black holes where hours mysteriously begin to disappear as soon as someone sends an invite. The too-many-meetings burden brings productivity to a crawl, so much so that employees now say meetings are the biggest distraction and waste of time in  the workplace. Nearly 60% of enterprise workers say wasteful meetings interfere with their productivity, forcing them to spend nearly 40% of their time in meetings, only about half of which is actually productive.

All of this wasted time costs U.S. companies a bundle. More than 17 million meetings are held every day in workplaces around the …

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Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.

- Stuart Smalley