Challenge: Cut Your Meetings In Half

I challenge you to reduce your meeting times by 50%.

Can’t get everything done that you want to accomplish?  We spend a lot of time in meetings but they are not always productive for every member in attendance.  Reducing time in meetings frees you up for more time in Gemba where your time spent is more valuable.  Look at meetings as the first place to remove overprocessing waste.

Here are some tips for your success: 

  • Change weekly meetings to bi-weekly or make one-hour meetings a half-hour
  • Never use meetings to discuss status; use email or post visually in a shared area instead
  • Challenge the meeting organizer to have a clear objective for the meeting before accepting the invite
  • Reduce waiting for people to show up by scheduling the start at odd times like 11:05 or 11:07
  • Gain faster understanding and consensus through the use of visuals instead of relying on just letters and numbers

Check out Reid Hastie from the New York Times article Meetings Are a Matter of Precious Time for more inspiration to make meetings more effective!

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Filed under Business, Communication, Encouragement, Gemba, Improvements, Project Management, Visual Systems, Waste

2 responses to “Challenge: Cut Your Meetings In Half

  1. Great post! Also suggest having an agenda that includes meeting times as well as meeting outcomes. Consider alternating in-person meetings with short 15-min tag-up phone calls too.

    As a bigger issue, we need to change culture around success. Successful people should be those who spend less, not more, time in internal meetings.

  2. Thanks for your comments Liz!

    I like your addition about including meeting times. I totally forgot another piece of advice – appoint a time-keeper. A time-keeper will really keep your meeting on track.

    I think your suggestion is brilliant to alternate with short phone calls instead of making them all in-person.

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