THE BLOG

We Have to Stop Meeting Like This

02/18/2015 04:48 pm ET | Updated Apr 20, 2015

So many meetings, so little time. We've all been there -- from the PTA to the corporate board room -- we're drowning in ineffective, poorly planned meetings, frustrated that we can't get better organized to save ourselves precious time for innovation and implementation.

If you can find at least five problems with Mary's Little Meeting, there's hope for you yet!

Mary Had A Little Meeting

Mary had a special Project,
its mission big and bold,
And everywhere that Mary went
she dreamt of Project goals.

Wanting lots of buy-in
fear of failure at the core,
Mary set her first team call
inviting thirty-four.

Attendees living coast-to-coast
received a one- day notice;
No time for proper protocol,
the Project was her focus.

A report laid out the problems
and described the project needs;
Forget that it was way too long,
the key points lost in weeds.

Adding an agenda,
Mary rushed to start her meeting;
Then waited for her peers to join,
but they were few and fleeting.

Oh so many no-shows
and four attendee "fill-ins,"
volunteered by managers,
but could not make decisions.

Another five said Hello
then put themselves on mute,
unhappy they were asked to join
during their 6:00 a.m. commute.

Three over-achievers studied the report
And read the agenda in advance;
they debated Mary throughout the call,
saying her Project had no chance.

Mary tried to explain why she scheduled the call,
desperately noting Project completion by Fall.
The meeting ran over, her colleagues squirmed --
Mary summed up next steps; no one confirmed.

Oh why did Mary love this special Project so,
but had no idea which way to go?
After much reflection, Mary conceded --
another meeting was just what was needed.