I have just read something that took me aback somewhat. Were you aware that there are more than 25 million meetings a day in the United States. By meetings I think it refers to business meetings.
If so this is criminal. An absolutely colossal waste of time in talking shops. A meeting is usually an excuse to procrastinate. 25 million productive meetings could very easily pull the U.S out of their recession and very soon they would overtake China and India as the powerhouse growth economies of the World. Why won’t they though?
Firstly the meeting will not have an agenda that is defined and stuck to. It will not have pre defined questions that those attending are already planning the answers for.
Secondly the main question will not be asked at the start o the meeting to all of the attendees, what do “you” want to get out of this meeting.
Thirdly, new ideas will be met with resistance. “Oh I don’t think that will work, we have always done it like this” etc… etc…
If you are an entrepreneur running a business and you have to have meetings, although Tim Ferriss in his excellent Four Hour Workweek book suggests that well over 90% of meetings can be avoided really easily by delegation and mail exchanges and careful use of the voice on the phone, then make sure you define the context of the meeting and the actionable steps you need to solve. Do not allow any statements such as, “I am not sure that will work”. When Graham goes off topic… oops sorry, when anyone goes of topic bring them quickly back to the ranch before you get into a discussion about last night’s episode of “Whatever”
Close the meeting and get on with action.