your hand up if you think that meetings are always a practical,
effective, efficient, productive and innovative way to make decisions.....
how we always start a seminar or training course on meeting management
and I am sure you will not be surprised to hear we have yet to have
any audience do more than stir uncomfortably in their seats.
next question is usually "How much time do you spend in meetings?".
This one starts people thinking as they have probably not made this
calculation before. Time is one of businesss most important
resources, (see the Businessmans Pocket Guide to Time Management)
and it is horrifying how much of this resource is wasted in meetings.
some time now to do the calculation. Add up all the time you spend
in meetings in an average month. Start with that big monthly meeting
that goes on for 5 or 6 hours. Add to that the weekly meeting with
your boss and the similar meeting you have with your team. Next
add the time you spend in formal meetings with your customers or
suppliers and the other people who want to talk to you. Consider
also the committee meetings you attend, the in-house magazine committee,
the annual conference committee or the quality control committee,
not forgetting your social committees, the school board or the squash
club. The list is endless.
results will vary of course but if you are a business executive
in South Africa you will probably spend between 30% and 60% of your
time in meetings
is not just a South African problem. Statistics coming from America
suggest that the average executive may spend as much as 75% of his
time in meetings and that figure is still growing.
worked out how much time you spend in meetings you may like to calculate
what those meetings are costing your company.
we to take a hypothetical Monday morning meeting with 16 executives
from 08:00 until 11:00, that meeting may have cost your company
as much as R12,000 in salaries for those people attending. This
represents an annual expenditure in excess of R624,000.00 and only
covers one meeting a week! If you were to add to this a similar
calculation for all the meetings your company holds the results
are likely to be staggering.
the other hand it is perhaps a good thing that we spend so long
at meetings. If executives spend 60 % of their time attending meetings
and all meetings were cancelled, 60% of business people in South
Africa would very quickly find themselves out of work and this would
add a terrible burden to the already overcrowded golf courses.
are not, in themselves, bad. A well managed meeting that starts
and finishes on time, is well attended by the appropriately prepared
people and achieves its objectives, is an important tool for any
manager. So some meetings are good, but most meetings are not.
this book we will be discussing what separates the good from the
bad while focusing on the good. We will take a critical and sometimes
irreverent look at the meetings you have in your company and offer
suggestions as to how they can be improved or sometimes why they
should be cancelled. We will look at the preparation that precedes
a good meeting, how the agenda should be used and how to structure
the meeting to achieve the objectives in the shortest possible time.
We will also look at how to manage difficult people in meetings,
how to use your meetings to motivate your team and how to use the
law regarding formal meetings to your advantage.
you attend or lead meetings this book will help you make the most
or your meeting time.