09 Dec Does Your Meeting Cost As Much As A Wedding Banquet?

sleeping conference tableIt’s that time of the week again. If there’s one thing that makes my blood boil, it’s the words “weekly meeting”. Same day. Same time. Same meeting. I quickly tune out and start thinking about the economic impact of this meeting. In other words, what will this meeting really cost us?

  • A conference table that “sleeps” fifteen people times $20 per hour average = $300 per week or $15,600 per year
  • One person who consumes 15 minutes per week of everyone’s time talking off topic = $75 per week or $3,900 per year
  • The meeting always runs 15 minutes late = $75 per week or $3,900 per year
  • Total amount wasted = $450 per week or $23,400 per year


Now, the icing on the cake. Just think about how much profit is potentially being lost if people were actually being productive and generating revenue during that time…likely the amount of a pretty nice wedding banquet. I find it interesting that leaders will meet for hours about a $200 purchase, yet don’t think anything about scheduling a 2-hour meeting, which costs a lot more over time.

In general, how do you feel about team meetings? If you’re like me, I’m not a big fan if they are unfocused and unorganized. According to “Boring Meetings Suck” by Jon Petz, 49% of all office meetings are deemed as time wasted. A survey by Microsoft found that US workers spend 5.5 hours in meetings each week and 71% said those meetings weren’t productive. Atlassian shows that the average employee spends 31 hours a month in meetings and considers at least 50% of them a complete waste of time. 91% daydream, 75% do other work, and 39% sleep. Managers do no better. Bain & Company found that the average manager wastes nearly a full day every week and senior executives waste a staggering 40% of their work week in endless, mind-numbing, ineffective meetings.

Click to Tweet: “Fill your team’s calendar with business, not busyness.” @derekdeprey #movetobeteams

Why are some team meetings bad? No clear goal, no focused agenda, low participation, discussions that don’t go anywhere, no follow-up action items, missed opportunities to work “on” the business, etc. Instead of preparing, we run from meeting to meeting frazzled while staring at our phones during transitions and pointless meetings. The problem with meetings isn’t the actual meetings. Instead, it’s the negativity we bring towards meetings.

So, why ARE team meetings important? According to a “Time Crunch” survey in the Wall Street Journal, meetings account for one-third of a CEO’s work life. This says two things. First, productive meetings are critical to running an organization. Second, improving this one activity will have a huge impact on results. Well-designed meetings create a culture of teamwork.

Believe it or not, the point of a meeting is to actually accomplish something. So, how do we fix meetings so that they are more enjoyable and produce more positive results? Are you ready for the one thing that you must do to ensure this?

Click to Tweet: “If you schedule a team meeting, you must own everything about it.” @derekdeprey #movetobeteams

actionThe best way to own everything about a meeting is to prepare, prepare, prepare. Think before you meet! Starting today, work through pages 2 and 3 of the “Pre-Meeting Ownership Worksheet” to ensure thorough preparation and accomplishment at every meeting moving forward. You get out of meetings what you put in them before they even start. A leader’s prep time pays dividends for the team … while it takes up economic real estate in his or her schedule, the impact that proper preparation can bring to the table pays for itself tenfold.

Checkout some highlights of Derek’s #movetobeteams workshop.

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