January 12, 2016

It’s 2016, You Still Don’t Get that Meetings Don’t Work

When a manager or client says “let’s meet more” all that happens is we accomplish less.

Posted In:
News & Whatnot

When a manager or client says “let’s meet more” all that happens is we accomplish less. People universally complain about bureaucracy in the workplace, but meetings are really just that. It’s administrative procedure, made excessive by doing it frequently, that allows disconnected people in charge to ultimately keep leading without having to understand the real basis of decisions. They are a complete waste of time in 90% of instances.

Need to keep an eye on team status? Have a 5 minute standup or team task management system where people must update progress of their projects.

Need to collaborate on decisions? Have smaller groups or individuals collaborate as large group brainstorming is completely ineffective. Have a group leader present the findings and discuss with the person in charge.

Need to keep your team aware of what others are doing for the sake of knowledge share or other non-essential reasons? Have people share that stuff during monthly staff meetings as well as on team dashboards.

Feel like the team just needs to be together for team building reasons? Have team lunches (or simply don’t overwork your team to the point they can actually leave their desks for lunch). Have group training. Traditional meetings rarely accomplish that.

Have a standing hour or longer meeting with the same group for the same purpose more than once a month? I will argue to no end that you’re meeting excessively. Your team could be more productive by cutting that duration to once a month and putting systems in place to check in throughout the month and keep an eye on progress and catch issues.

And if you’re still defending meetings, watch what everyone is doing at your next one. Working on other things, playing on phones, gazing off into space. Meetings can be run well, can be effective, can be useful for everyone involved. But many managers take lack of progress as a reason to meet more. Those folks are clueless and doing it wrong.

Eliminate all the wrong reasons to meet. Cut the frequency to a bare minimum. Add one-on-one or impromptu small group meetings as needed. But the more you just keep lengthening or adding meetings that could’ve been handled in 15 minutes, or without a meeting at all, the less anyone will care what you have to say and the more your group will learn to miss the importance of the message.

Meetings largely aren’t effective. Part is how they are run, but much is inherit. This has been written about many times and here we are, halfway through another decade, still not figuring it out.

What do you think?

Contact Us

We'd love to hear about your business and find ways we can help.

Learn More About Us

Want to know about us first? Go right ahead!


#FreeAdvice: The Truth About SEO Audits

We get a lot of questions about what an SEO audit is, what an audit looks like, why your website should get an audit and more. Check out some of the most commonly asked questions.

Lindsie Nelson
#FreeAdvice: How to Advance Your Search Marketing Career (Bonus: Tips for new grads)

How can I advance my search marketing career? It is important to keep up and put yourself ahead of the competition. Here are a few ways you can make progress with professional growth and gain the confidence to reach for bigger and better things. Be better than the rest! 

Chelsea Scaffidi
#FreeAdvice: Search Intent vs Keywords

What is search intent? Why is it so important and how can you optimize for it? Some keywords can have multiple meanings, show up for the right one.

Chelsea Scaffidi
Podcast - Impact of COVID-19 on Search Strategy

The current COVID-19 outbreak has made every business reevaluate how to connect with their customers, but how does this impact search strategy?

Lindsie Nelson
#FreeAdvice: How to Lower Your CPA

There are three ways to make a major impact on your CPA for the better that are entirely within your control.

Jay Ratkowski