Jennifer B. Davis
As many of you know, I live in beautiful, if not soggy, Portland, Oregon. I read a shocking article today that claimed that Portland was the #1 UnHappy City according to Business Week. I know it is cloudy here and the rain gets a bit old, still I just can't believe it is true.

A colleague once told me that although it rains a lot in Portland, that just means that the ground is wet and shiny alot and we have more than our fair share of rainbows. I like her way of thinking!

The great photo above was found on Leslie Miles' incredible photo blog.

Jennifer B. Davis
We've all been in bad meetings. Heck, we have lead them ourselves.

We've also been in great ones where people left with the tools and answers they needed. Where team members are aligned, where tough issues are tackled, and teamwork is demonstrated. These happen periodically so, the myth of the productive meeting persists.

At Intel they give classes on "Effective Meetings" (assuming that isn't an oxymoron) hoping to increase the hit rate of great meetings.

Seth Godin had a recent post about how to "solve your meeting problems." It included some provocative ideas like setting the default meeting length to 5 minutes (instead of one hour), removing chairs from conference rooms, or even creating a public voting system where people rate meetings according to usefulness.

Some companies have banned meetings all together. No meetings - only conversations and decisions. Is it just symantecs or is there something fundamentally different about a company without meetings? How else does the corporate culture, physical office layout, and work itself have to chance to adapt to an environment without meetings?

What has worked for you?

Meetings may be an unavoidable part of our professional lives, but how can they be more productive? It is a better presentation. More preparation. The "pre-meeting" (heaven help us). Is it an egg timer or the insistance on agendas? Or, is it as artist Craig Damrauer suggests above...all about the snacks?
Jennifer B. Davis
Dan Pink, one of my favorite authors of late, had a blog post about Craig Damrauer, who is a insightful artist who has come out with a line of artwork that boils down complicated concepts into mathmatical formulas. See the collection here, below are a few of my favorites.

Said this way, to be happy all you have to do is identify the "un" in your life, eliminate it, and viola!

I highly recommend you check out his entire slide show and find ways to integrate this creative, and highly-effective, approach to communication in your next presentation!