The Lab mostly works on subject areas closely linked to our strategy - but we can also be commissioned to looks at problems or ideas from customers or colleagues.
This week we had this email from a colleague of ours:
On Friday, Three people said to me they had spent all day in back to back meetings and hadn’t done any work. One of them said they’d had a week like it.
So, is a meeting not work?
Why do we have a meeting?
How do we decide who attends the meeting?
Is there real value in having the same meeting every month on a recurring basis
Are some meetings just habit?
Should this be something the Lab looks at?
We all know the pain of sitting through lengthy meetings only to come out the other side no wiser than when you went in. The default of face to face meetings is a costly way to work and more often than not counter productive to your day.
"Very few of us do the meeting maths. As Jason Fried has written — the time blocked off doesn’t equal actual time spent. A one hour meeting with 6 people is a six hour meeting. A 15 minute meeting with 9 people is a two-and-a-quarter-hour meeting." - Paul Taylor
The Lab team boast a ban on team meetings, catching up formally every other month.
Instead we've opted to work out loud through basecamp and have WhatsApp for quick chats. I have no doubt this won't work for every team but the question should be asked whether a team needs a day long meeting every month.
We've added Death by Meetings to our Trello Board - and we'll see if others think it's an subject area to explore.