Why You Have To Spend A Lot Of Time in Meetings

Pro Meetings

I read – one of a million – posts yesterday that bashed meeting time as unproductive and busy work. That’s BS.

The reality as usually is more differentiated than this:

The amount of time that is spent well in meetings is a function of your total span of control and interdependence between your responsibility and others in the company.

Let’s break this down.

Total span of control

If you manage 8 direct reports and a total of 200 employees, meetings are in fact the best spend of your time. If you coordinate work with your direct reports well, there’s a multiplying effect when that coordination bears fruits down the road. When you manage a lot of people, it’s not your job to sit alone in a room and strategize day in day out or design beautiful artwork for the next ad campaign. Your job is to enable your team to do that at a larger scale and higher quality.

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Interdependency

When your field of responsibility has multiple touch points to other and influences them or is being influenced, you have to talk to these other functions. A lot. This negotiation and alignment is a vital and core function of any organization. That can’t be handled alone.

Why Meetings are good

Given the above:

  • The more people you lead, the more time you will spend in meetings. And that’s a good thing. It’s called managerial leverage.
  • The more complex and interdependent your field of work is, the more time you will spend in meetings. And that’s a good thing, too.

To come back to the starting point: When you work on a staff level position with no touch points to other functions, the majority of all meetings for you will be a waste of time.

In all other cases, it’s more about having the right meetings and running them well.

They are the central tool that you as a leader have to influence behavior in your organization.

So if you again hear someone say meetings are a waste of time: Tell them, they’re not.

AUGUST 4, 2022

 

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We help you make sure everybody in your company knows what their role is, has the right processes and the best tools to deliver great outcomes consistently. Add a layer of excellent strategy execution and situative leadership and the success is yours.

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