I have a meeting today for Competitive Strategy. My desire for Saturday meetings ranks right up there with repeating Spanish and dentistry without Novocain. Maybe I shouldn’t say meetings on Saturday; maybe “meetings” will do.
Thanks to a career in charity and seeing virtually zero productivity from most meetings I’ve come to find them a necessary waste of time. I’m not alone here. Most people find them virtually pointless. Last year I was criticised by a member of my study group for never participating and just writing things in a notebook or on my tablet PC during the conversations.
I explained that I normally take notes on various things and then try to make sense of the information later. Unless there’s something that I think has been missed or the entire group is getting really wrong (say a valuation of a company or process for getting the work done) then I try to remain silent.
Try to remain silent is the key phrase. Normally my silence is an indicator of the trust I have in the group. If I trust them a lot (study group) then often silence and notes- the people in that group were damn bright – now, if I feel uncomfortable with the group, I’ll talk more.
Funny, my approach to friendships is exactly the opposite of my approach in groups. Don’t know what that means but it just occurred to me.
All meetings aren’t created equal. I’ve been in some that are useful. Assuming an objective for the meeting and a good agenda that looks at action points, reports on past activities and outlines future work things can be good. Sadly, this rarely happens.
The meeting does prompt me to re-read the case and get my notes together earlier rather than later. All in all, that isn’t a bad thing.