“Too many meetings! No time to get any actual work done.”
I hear this from agency staff quite often.
This typically points back to 4 causes…
1. Project-based team assignments.
When you assign people to projects, each project will have its own series of duplicative meetings. If you instead assign projects to cross-functional fixed teams, each team can have a single series of meetings that cover all of their assigned projects.
2. Confusion around roles and responsibilities.
When team members are unclear on who does what, they use meetings to make up for it. And they’ll invite more people than they need to.
3. Poorly run meetings.
If a meeting doesn’t accomplish what it’s meant to, you can expect another meeting.
4. Unnecessary meetings.
Not every meeting needs to be a meeting.
Here’s a tip I learned when I worked for McKinney many years ago.
Challenge your staff to “P.O.S.T.” their meeting agendas. It forces critical thinking about…
Purpose: What is the purpose of the meeting?
Outcome: What do you want to achieve?
Structure: How will you structure the meeting?
Timing: How will you facilitate the meeting in the time you have?
Meetings are one of the top productivity killers in the work environment.
Agency leaders, help your people by:
1. Considering alternative team structures that make the best use of their capacity.
2. Clearly defining and sharing roles, responsibilities, and decision-making rights.
3. Reducing unnecessary and unproductive meetings by letting your people know it’s OK to decline any meeting without a P.O.S.T.