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?
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