At least make meetings useful….

I’ve made no secret of my disdain for regular meetings in the past.

I hate the ‘I need to say something clever’ brigade and the waste of valuable energy and time spent dealing with these comments.

I hate the meetings that simply exist to ‘tick a box’ and report on information that really should already be transparent to the business.

I hate the ‘non-committers'; wracked by a seemingly unshakable belief in not rocking the boat, if you have nothing to add don’t attend.

Most of all, I hate the product of group-think, a weakened and often bloated version of any original concept. Are all meetings useless? Not at all, but they should be by exception, if you’re having regular reporting or status meetings you have your communication all wrong. [Read more…]

Safety in numbers? – why I hate meetings

I’m no lover of meetings.

I find them inefficient, productivity sapping and on occasion downright divisive. I’ve laboured for many years under the illusion that; by putting more effort into the control and organisation of meetings I can get more out of them. I think all I’ve really achieved is to waste more of my time and cause my coworkers to hate me more than they did before!

I know it’s been fashionable for some time now to bash meetings. I mean they do present an obvious and easy target. Do a quick google on the subject and the majority of opinion pieces seem weighted against them. Current culture, especially in the IT / Web industry is often vitriolic towards meetings. 37 Signals call Meetings “toxic” and they present some compelling arguments.

But what about more traditional top down industries? CBS news cite the fact that “professionals lose 31 hours per month to unproductive meetings” and that “73 percent of professionals admit to doing unrelated work in meetings” and I can well believe it.

Everyone seems to attend meetings (especially long ones) with their laptop/smartphone these days, and counter to all known logic regards focus and productivity, it seems acceptable for them to be used indiscriminately. I’ve regularly attended meetings in the past where Senior management have brought laptops for the sole purpose of getting on with other work. What’s the point? surely someone with balls needs to question what the hell are we doing here?? [Read more…]

Declining standards in the scruffy workplace?

Something that I’ve noticed creeping back into the news recently is the declining workforce standards and the dress code debate.

Seems that whenever a ‘standards are slipping’ or ‘workforce motivation’ piece is aired, this non-argument pops up at some point. Firstly I find it really frustrating that this is portrayed as a black & white argument and secondly that there seems to be a continous stream of Captains of Industry who delight in apportioning the decline of workforce standards to dress code.

The only standards that seem to be declining here are that of reasoned debate. I have yet to see any commentator produce any proof that a) standards really are declining in the workplace and b) relaxed dress code has anything to do with it, if indeed they are. [Read more…]