STOP holding group meetings! Right now, stop it. Until you have clear objectives for these meetings, objectives that cannot be achieved in any other way, cut it out.
Group meetings are ubiquitous, but what are they really for? Leaders who use group meetings primarily for disseminating information are wasting everyone’s time, when their primary purpose should be for decision making.
In a group meeting, members come together to share their perspectives and insights, to collaborate and to make decisions that affect the organization. Think, Strategy Day. The goal of a group meeting is to make decisions that will positively impact the organization as a whole, and to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
For information dissemination in any organization, there are better alternatives such as email, memos, phone calls, videos, and even messaging apps like Slack. These methods can be used to disseminate information efficiently, effectively, and asynchronously without the need for everyone to be physically present in the same room.
One advantage of using alternative methods for information dissemination is that it can save time, money, emotional energy, and not impede productivity. With busy schedules, different locations, and sometimes wildly varying time zones, it can be a logistical challenge to get everyone to attend a group meeting. For important decisions, this is justified. For telling people what’s up, it isn’t.
Another advantage of using alternative methods for information dissemination is that it allows for more flexibility. People can access the information they need at any time and from any location. This can be especially useful for remote or distributed teams, where members may not be physically present in the same location.
To replace your current group meetings, think about what you do for follow up for those people who couldn’t attend. Then do that for everyone. If they have questions, they can follow up with you individually. And if you see a pattern to the questions, you can create a follow up to your first communication to address those patterns for everyone.
While group meetings are an essential part of decision-making in any organization, they are not the only, or the best, way to disseminate information. There are other alternatives that can be used to disseminate information more efficiently and effectively. By using these alternative methods, you can save time, increase productivity, and improve flexibility. So the next time you consider scheduling a group meeting, think about whether it is truly necessary, or if there are other alternatives that could work just as well.
1 thought on “STOP Doing Group Meetings”
great post – clear purpose and objectives are the key to good meetings of all types.
The counterargument is for group meetings is that 2 good group meetings will run your whole company more efficiently and effectively than most current structures.
And one thing that has become really clear, the better your meetings, the better you can adjust to the hybrid remote world.
One thing that has happened to me during the last few years is an eversion to any time wasting meetings. Every minute I am in front of a screen I’d like to make efficient, and effective. The most valuable time I can spend leading a company is at group meetings that have clear objectives, a process that gives everyone a voice, a process to capture and track outcomes and decisions and a company that understand the gravitas that the meetings need to have in terms of decision making.
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