with Aliza Sherman
If you own a business - home-based or otherwise - this is the blog where you'll find practical tips and smart ideas about entrepreneurship. I've started and run 4 different businesses so "been there, done that." I'll also invite successful entrepreneurs to share their best advice with you.
To learn more about Aliza, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! and her website, www.mediaegg.com.
I received a pitch from a publicist who works with a company called TimeBridge which is a one-stop online meetings solution where that you can use to plan for, schedule, receive reminders for and follow up on meetings using their online tools. The pitch was about the 45 Minute Meeting Movement, a “new” idea being perpetuated by the TimeBridge folks to reduce the amount of time we waste in meetings.
“Why are we starting this movement?” asks John Stormer on the 45 Minute Meeting site. He goes on to explain:
“Well if you ask me what drives our work at TimeBridge, it’s a commitment to make meetings better for the both organizers and attendees. That means everyone’s time is better spent, for sure, but it also means that teams are more effective. More stuff gets done in the meeting. And (this is not insignificant) that teams feel better about their work, more empowered, more effective.”
On the site, he also explains the “5 Rules of the 45 Minute Meeting” which are to plan ahead, cull the attendees, stay tuned in, manage the clock and give ownership. He also mentions the cleverly titled book: The Hamster Revolution for Meetings: How to Meet Less and Get More Done by Mike Song.
How Often Are You Meeting?
So with all this talk about reducing meeting times, this begs the questions: How often are you meeting? How long are your meetings on average? And what are you getting out of these meetings?
I’ll answer these questions myself.
How often? My company has an accounts meeting every Monday morning and a production meeting every Tuesday midday. We also have client check-ins weekly for a few of our larger clients with active and complex accounts - about three more meetings that are optional for me although I do check-in monthly with the client on these calls.
How long? I’ve tried to insist that the meetings stay within an hour and for the most part, we do. When meetings go over, it is either due to the organizer dragging things out or the organizer not “controlling the room” and letting everyone go off on tangents.
What are we getting out of these meetings? More than anything, we do get clarity on what is on our plates, who is responsible for what tasks, status of projects, and expectations of clients. Al of this information is valuable to us in order to run a good business and offer quality services.
However, I do believe we could make these meetings much shorter. But at what cost?
Tension and frustration will certainly come out of meetings where we run them like a taskmaster. We’ll also lose some of the friendly banter and exchange that - as a virtual company - we desperately need to keep communications and interactions among our team members cohesive.
Or am I projecting? If we changed all of these meetings to 45 minutes, what would happen?
1. We’d have 15 minutes between meetings so when we have “back to back” meetings we can get a bite to eat or run to the restroom.
2. We’d be forced to be concise in our communications, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
3. We’d all get to the point more quickly instead of rambling on and on.
4. We might feel the multiple meetings were less burdensome because they were shorter.
I may ask my team about experimenting with the 45 minute meeting concept and then report back here. I’m curious how they will react to the idea of it. Most people are resistant to change, even if it is for the better.
What do you think of the 45 minute meeting? What are YOUR meetings like?
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