Meetings are misused
If you’ve ever worked at a large company, you’ve likely attended many life-draining types of meetings. And if you’ve never been to a bad meeting, consider yourself lucky! According to Freakonomics, in the US we hold ~55 million meetings every single day and most of them are unproductive.
Meetings are the most popular and widespread collaboration tool teams use to get work done. We use meetings to brainstorm new ideas, coordinate project tasks, and build rapport with teammates. But just like any other tool, meetings are incredibly ineffective if used incorrectly.
Three bad types of meetings
- The “Monday morning” check-in meeting. You know this meeting well: 10-12 team members sit around a conference table and give individual status reports to their manager. Meetings are not well-suited for this one-to-many communication style because one person is updating a large group of people and little-to-no discussion is required.
- The context-sharing meeting. These meetings almost always should be emails. They exist to inform different stakeholders about the project’s status. However, asynchronous project updates are more effective and efficient.
- The recurring project team meeting (that never has an agenda). These meetings keep reappearing on your calendar at set intervals but curiously never have a strong purpose or agenda. As Parkinson’s Law aptly highlights, somehow the allotted time block gets filled with miscellaneous, one-off topics that could have been discussed later (or not at all).
Stop your bad meetings
Surprise, surprise: none of those meetings have to be bad. Unfortunately, most meetings suck because teams incorrectly use them.
If you’re curious about how you might make your meetings more productive, then feel free to give Cadence a try.