What is the real cause of unproductive meetings?

22nd January 2015

Following an earlier post I found the attached infographic, which supports my arguments about the hidden cost of unproductive meetings in the workplace. I like the visual way this is produced. It shows the power of combining pictures and words.

The ugly truth about meetings
 
Whilst I agree that the stats on this graphic align with my experience of meetings, I don’t completely agree with the advice offered. To be frank, the advice offered in the “Tips for Better Meetings” is typical of the rules I find collecting dust on the walls of most corporate meeting rooms. It does not get to the heart of the matter. It is suggested that multitasking has a lot to blame for poor meetings, and the production of an agenda would would help most meetings.

It is my belief, and experience, that the single most useful thing you can do to improve a meeting it to get clear on OUTCOMES before a meeting. Without this, an agenda is just a list of aimless, meandering topics. Once outcomes are agree, the next thing is to think about the GROUP PROCESS, not just the content of the meeting. If group process is attended to, then people are engaged and multitasking becomes irrelevant.

However, my experience is that there is little attention given to group process expertise in the corporate world, so there is a lot of unconscious incompetence in this field. The first step to improving this would be for organisations to start paying attention to outcomes and process, which might need external support initially.

Meeting Magic has been supporting outcomes clarification and group process for 15 years now. We know doing this works! To begin a conversation about engaging meetings that work give us a call at +44 (0)1628 471 114 or complete the contact form.