Thursday, 4 August 2016

Mind your meeting

I was called in a meeting a few days ago, a meeting to discuss the release plan. I went into the meeting only to realize I was not required there, a few moments later I realized a bunch of people in that meeting were not required there either. I waited to listen, just of curiosity to find out the meeting was not required. I spent 12 minutes end to end for that meeting, I spoke exactly 25 words 20 of which were repetition of an email I had already sent for the release plan.

Meetings have been a biggest time killer for me, I have already started avoiding them as much as I can. A lot of these meetings that get the first priority rejections are the one's that come in form of an invite without any agenda.

Last week when I finished reading Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson I realized how important it is to not be in a meeting, when I started searching for a few articles around each of those elements that were covered in the book, I came across Gloria Lin's amazing response to a question on Apple's concept a very interesting tool DRI - Directly Responsible Individual in meetings. Someone who owns the task , agenda and drives the agenda item to an end.

But more importantly someone who makes the meeting meaningful. Off late I started observing what different people do in these meetings and found out..

1. A few pretend they are listening, but they are in back of mind thinking about how amazing sex they had last night.

2. A few don't just know why they are, but think maybe ahead something that relates to them would come up.

3. A few just hang in there, you know because "I was invited".

4. A few know they are not needed, but then they don't have anything else to do and this one is a big time filler in the time sheets.

5. A few have to speak as they don't want the one to have not contributed.

6. A few have a purpose but are diverted by use-less conversations, dragged to kill.

7. A few ...... who are needed, who value the meeting and who have objectives to take out of it.

The DRI should also ensure that no non-required entry is allowed. I like the tool. I hope and wish to use it. I look forward to lesser meetings and more productive use of my time.