What is a meeting?

A meeting is:
an assembly of people for the purpose of discussion where discussion is the holding of a conversation about something.

A conversation is:
the exchange of ideas with spoken words.

Exchange is:
to give and receive.

An idea is:
a thing conceived in the mind or something to be aimed at, created or discovered.

But must a meeting be formally convened and held in a special room?

What about when someone stops at your desk to discuss something? Is it a meeting? Yes, this is a two-person meeting.

And, what about a telephone call? This is another example of the two-person meeting.

Then there is the ubiquitous email, especially where there is a reply, which in turn generates a reply, etc. This is what we call an asynchronous meeting (an exchange of words between people about things to be aimed at, created or discovered).

So, in a person’s normal working day they are likely to have a number of meetings - some of which may require attendance with one or more people at a specific place away from their desk. This activity consumes a huge amount of time and has, therefore, costs associated with it.

Research shows many people spend 50% of their working day in meetings, and with the explanation made above of what a meeting is; it’s easy to understand that this figure is true.

This being the case, the question must be asked, “Surely effective management of such an important consumer of time must be paramount?” How many organisations do you know who actually do this and maximise their return on investment?

The answer is not many and many techniques have been attempted to overcome the problem. The majority have failed because they have implemented a partial solution without an in-depth study and understanding of all the elements that contribute to the success or failure of a meeting. There are numerous contributing factors, including starting and finishing late, the wrong people there, no preparation undertaken, side conversations, no ground rules, and the list goes on and on.

Fixing one or more of these contributing factors will improve meetings. Fixing all of them not only improves all meetings but also does so in a way that the scale of improvement is an order of magnitude.

We have spent a considerable amount of time studying the contributing factors, fully understand them and have devised effective remedies. The result is Action Meetings® - a process that delivers outstanding results.

“Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success”.
- Henry Ford

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