Stop Wasting My Time: The Expense of Ineffective Meetings

Have you ever doodled or day dreamed during a meeting, or made “To Do” lists while someone goes on and on about who knows what? Well join the crowd.

According to a study by MCI Conferencing, most people who meet on a regular basis admit to daydreaming (91%) or bringing other work to meetings (73%). The survey also identified that 95% of the respondents admitted to missing parts of a meeting or missing the meeting altogether.
A Microsoft survey tracking office productivity around the world suggests that we spend an average of 5.6 hours per week in meetings with 67% of respondents feeling that the meetings were not productive; and over half considering many meetings to be a ”waste of time”.

We all attend meetings—they are a cornerstone of organizational life. Meetings are an operational tool to convey information, help set priorities, and solve problems. But all too often we leave a meeting feeling that it was not a good use of our time. If people are not spending effective time in meetings, then money goes down the drain and lost opportunity costs occur.

The challenge is—can we make meetings more effective and regain control of our calendars?
The answer is YES!

90% of respondents to a poll conducted by Communispond Inc, a New York consulting firm, attributed the failure of most meetings to a “lack” of advanced planning and organization. Over 75% of those surveyed indicated that they received no formal training on how to conduct a meeting.

Friesen, Kaye and Associates has been helping organizations manage their meetings for maximum results. Effective and efficient meetings don’t just happen. Productive meetings require selective planning—even those called at the spur of the moment. Chances are you have been to a potentially valuable meeting that suffered from:

  • Absence of a key person
  • Unstated or disregarded starting/ending times
  • Ill-defined objectives
  • Fuzzy expectations of participants
  • Poor facilitation of the meeting
  • No agenda
  • Missing materials, data and reports

Taking the time to plan in advance and set the stage early in the process, will prevent these kinds of frustrating experiences. Stay tuned for a five-part series on Running Effective Meetings.

FKA President
Michael Nolan