I had a client who had a requirement to formally meet with the workforce once a week. It could best be described as a cross between a toolbox meeting and a safety meeting.
These meetings lasted for over an hour and the boss thought they could be shorter, much shorter. I asked him how long he thought they could be.
He said they should be able to discuss everything they needed to in about 15 minutes but people kept raising new and unimportant things to discuss and they went forever.
I then asked when he held the meeting. He told me they held this weekly meeting first thing in the morning at 8:30am.
The conversation went like this:-
Me – “Let me guess. They go until morning tea – 10:00am?”
Boss – “How did you know?”
Me – “Because, in my experience, that’s human nature. When is knockoff time?”
Boss – “4:30pm.”
Me – “Then reschedule the meeting to 4:15pm.”
So that’s what they did.
At 4:31pm there wasn’t a car in the car park and everything had been done.
Sound too simple to be true? Often solutions are simple when you look through a different lens – the smarter meetings lens.