How did we ever get into this mess?

20 October 2010 1 By Viv McWaters

Meetings suck. There I’ve said it.

Go to any meeting, anywhere, and you won’t have to scratch very much to find dissatisfaction, grumbling, discontent, sarcasm, cynicism, criticism, over-analysis, and posturing. I’m sure you can add to the list.

Even ‘good’ meetings have their share of malcontents, either openly or covertly, intentionally or not, disrupting the meeting. And I think they are on to something – because that’s exactly what our standard meetings need, disruption. A good shake.

Johnnie Moore writes about the tired Q and A format and makes a good case for at least trying something different.

And here’s some ideas for disrupting our meeting habits (to be considered individually or collectively):

1. Cancel the meeting

2. Throw away the agenda, goals, purpose, group norms or any other standardised procedure

3. Remove the tables – yep, all of ’em

4. Sit in a circle

5. Sing, play music, dance, move (helps your brain work better)

6. Ask people what they want to talk about

7. If all else fails, try #1

What else would you add?

By the way, if your meetings don’t suck, then I’m curious. Please tell us what makes them work.