Mastering Meeting Effectiveness: Discover 'The Meeting Optimizer'!Nov 20, 2023
Have you ever found yourself in a meeting, wondering if there was a better way to spend that time? The Meeting Optimizer is here to help you transform these tiresome (on-site or online) sessions into something more productive and engaging.
The Unpopular Importance of Meetings
Surprising but true: 67% of meetings are unsuccessful (The Muse), and employees sit through 62 meetings a month, half of which feel like a waste of time (Atlassian). The cost? A whopping $399 billion in the US alone (Doodle). Despite this, meetings remain crucial for collaboration and innovation. In fact, Harvard Business Review shows that about 80% of managers’ time is spent in meetings or responding to requests. The key? Doing meetings right, because face-to-face is 34 times more effective than other forms when it comes get your requests validated (HBR), similarly when need to coordinate to perform complex tasks (MRT).
Our Journey to The Meeting Optimizer
Collaborating with over 100 teams in the last ten years, we’ve come to a simple and straightforward realization: meeting success boils down to getting the basics right. It's all about those (well-known) fundamental practices – ensuring agendas and materials are shared in advance, asking clarification questions (instead of assuming and judging), or just saying "thank you".
Simple, right? Yet, these basics are often overlooked. This led us to design the Meeting Optimizer: a tool to harnesses the basic and effective practices that uplift productivity and engagement in meetings, and beyond.
The Tool at a Glance
The Meeting Optimizer is made of two templates:
- Individual Preparation Sheet: A self-reflection tool for evaluating personal meeting habits.
- Meeting Optimizer Poster: A group tool for consolidating habits, visualizing and agreeing on areas for meeting improvement.
How to Use It
1. Start with Self-Reflection: Assess your individual meeting habits with the Preparation Sheet.
2. Team Visualization: Share your personal insights and design the collective view during the poster session.
3. Goal Setting and Commitments: Make personal and team commitments to improve future meetings.
4-5. Regular Reviews: Keep track of progress, adapt as needed and especially recognize achievements.
When and When Not to Use The Meeting Optimizer?
• Ideal for improving regular team meetings, brainstorming, strategy and planning sessions.
• Not suited for improving large presentations, external client meetings, casual or confidential discussions.
Integration with the Team Alignment Toolkit
The Meeting Optimizer works seamlessly with the Team Alignment Toolkit, enhancing your team’s collaborative leadership toolbox (soft skills):
- Team Alignment Map: Ensure every member can contribute optimally to your team's goals.
- Team Contract: Set clear norms and ground rules for your team.
- Fact Finder: Boost the productivity of your meetings with targeted, effective questioning techniques.
- Nonviolent Requests Guide: Navigate team conflicts constructively.
- Respect Card: Learn more about respectful and tactful communication techniques.
Begin Your Journey!
- Download the Tools: Get the Preparation Sheet, Poster, and Guide.
- Introduce the Concept: Share the tool's purpose with your team.
- Distribute and Reflect: Allow time for filling out the Prep Sheets.
- Collaborate: Use the Poster in a team session to visualize and set goals.
- Review and Adapt: Schedule regular sessions for ongoing improvement.
Template available soon in Miro.com (Miroverse).
- Team alignment best practices and additional tools in "HIGH-IMPACT TOOLS FOR TEAMS" by Mastrogiacomo & Osterwalder.
- Psychological safety best practices adapted from “THE FEARLESS ORGANIZATION” by Amy Edmondson.
- Widespread Meeting Inefficiency: 67% of meetings are deemed unsuccessful. The Muse
- High Frequency, Low Productivity: Employees average 62 meetings per month, with half considered unproductive. Atlassian Time Wasting Infographic
- Significant Financial Impact: Poorly organized meetings cost approximately $399 billion annually in the U.S. Doodle 2019 State of Meetings Report
- Substantial Time Investment: About 80% of work time is spent in meetings or responding to requests. Harvard Business Review on Collaborative Overload
- The Power of Face-to-Face: Face-to-face meetings are 34 times more successful than other forms of communication. HBR on Face-to-Face Requests
- Understanding Communication Effectiveness: Insights into the effectiveness of different communication media. (MRT) Media Richness Theory on Wikipedia