Wednesday, September 23, 2009

meeting strategies

A couple days ago, FSP posted about meeting pet peeves. Some of the comments indicated that industry meetings are somehow more productive than academic meetings. Au contraire!

As a consultant I distinctly remember meetings that were monopolized by crazy people, meetings that didn't end until the participants had fallen into a post-donut coma, and meetings dominated by "note taking" that was actually playing tetris on various devices.

So here's my advice for a productive meeting, industry, academica, or otherwise:

1. Have a single meeting coordinator/dictator to keep things moving.

2. Write out a clearly defined agenda and stick to it. It doesn't have to be extensive, but you're trying to avoid the bored "let's talk about anything except the subject of this meeting" chatter.

3. If you have a participant who just can't shut up, institute a friendly but firm time limit.

4. Save the donuts for after the meeting.

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