All of us have attended meetings where we wondered what was accomplished. Most of us have attended several of these (perhaps even weekly or daily). You probably resented having your time wasted and disrespected.
But unproductive meetings are even more insidious than just a waste of everyone’s time.
As the author, Al Pittampalli points out, “Once we're exposed to the callous indifference of a false-urgent meeting, we begin to question everything the organization does. If management is willing to regularly tolerate such an affront on our productivity, why bother?”
Meetings should never be called when a memo would suffice.
We can't work and meet at the same time. It’s time organizations decide what’s more important to them.
The author suggests, “The Modern Meeting convenes to support a decision that has already been made. If we still have serious objections or better alternatives, or we want to propose changes to the details of the decision, the Modern Meeting is the forum for debating them. In the end, though, you (the leader) make the decision; you own the outcome.
“The Modern Meeting focuses on the only two activities worth convening for: conflict and coordination. The Modern Meeting meets only for the purpose of dissent. (Unlike the traditional meeting,) conflict is expected, so participants feel safe to let their ideas fly indiscriminately.”
I can see where this would keep people from feeling that their time was being wasted by unproductive meetings. I agree with many of his ideas about how to conduct the Modern Meeting and why it should replace the Traditional Meeting. However, I think if you followed it to the letter it would be a bit too cold and sterilized for my tastes. I’m not sure how a bit of warmth and caring could be added but most business professionals may prefer his style to mine, anyway.